Detained Senator Leila De Lima has asked Muntinlupa City Judge Liezel Aquiatan to reverse the ruling that denied the lawmaker to participate in the Senate’s online sessions and hearings.
“Herein Accused remains to be a Senator regardless of the present criminal cases filed against her,” De Lima reminded in her motion for reconsideration.
“She continues to dispose of the functions and prerogatives of this office so long as they can performed under the conditions of her status as detention prisoner,” she added.
The senator is faces three drug charges before the RTC concerning her alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
De Lima, who is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, stressed that she continues to be an elected legislator despite being detained.
“The disability suffered by a detained legislator is not due to any form of political disqualification. It is due merely to the physical limitations of being detained. Definitely it is not due to removal from office,” she stated.
The senator cited that the Supreme Court (SC) also declared in its previous rulings that “so long as the detained legislator is able to perform legislative functions within his or her place of detention, there is nothing in the law that prevents him or her from doing so.”
De Lima also assured that she is not asking for special treatment in seeking to participate in the Senate teleconferencing of sessions and hearings.
“But due to the wonders of modern technology and scientific advances, coupled with the Senate Rules that recognize such technology and advances, Senators can now participate in Senate sessions and committee hearings without having to be physically present at the Senate premises,” she explained.
“The teleconferencing system to be set up will not violate the rules of the PNP Custodial Center on the use of communication gadgets, since the same will be used under the supervision of the PNP Custodians, much like when Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) are allowed to make phone calls to the outside world from designated prison facilities set up for such purpose,” she also assured.