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Malayo man, malapit rin! Noynoy, 7 ex-senators back De Lima’s participation in Senate via video conferencing

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Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and seven former senators have thrown their support behind a proposal to allow Senator Leila De Lima to participate in Senate proceedings through video conferencing.

In a signed statement, Aquino and former senators Mar Roxas, Rene Saguisag, Wigberto “Ka Bobby” Tanada Sr., Sergio “Serge” Osmena III, Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and Francisco “Kit” Tatad said De Lima should be allowed to fulfill her duties as senator despite being detained at Camp Crame.

“To allow Senator De Lima the full discharge of her role and duty as a parliamentarian is to pay respect to the mandate of more than 14 million Filipinos who voted for her into office,” they said.

The former senators released the joint statement during the launching of the “Free Leila Committee” at Club Filipino in San Juan City Monday (August 26).

Among the duties which the former senators said De Lima should be allowed to do include: attending plenary sessions, voting on bills and resolutions, attend important hearings and caucuses and to hold hearings of the Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, which she chairs.

Aquino and the former lawmakers expressed support for Senate Resolution No. 51 filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and Sen. Panfilo Lacson to let De Lima participate in plenary sessions through teleconferencing.

In their resolution, Drilon and Lacson said she should be allowed to fulfill her mandate by participating in plenary sessions via teleconferencing, video conferencing or other forms of remote or electronic communications.

The resolution was also backed by Senate President Vincente “Tito” Sotto III, who expressed his approval for De Lima to join the plenary sessions through available technology.

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