Hontiveros slams barring of De Lima’s birthday visitors

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday, 29 August slammed the denial of visitors of former Senator Leila de Lima on her 63rd birthday last Saturday. 

“Sen. Leila de Lima should have not been denied from receiving visitors on the day of her birthday,” Hontiveros said in a statement. 

“Sen. Leila continues to be unjustly targeted for crimes she did not commit. I will continue to fight for her liberty,” she added. 

The lady lawmaker said that De Lima should be free from any injustices like these, citing that many witnesses in her drug charges have already recanted their testimonies against her. 

“I never lose my hope that Sen. Leila will be free very soon because it is now gradually revealed that charges filed against her were just a big frame-up,” she added.

The statement came after the Philippine National Police denied the request of the former lawmaker to receive additional visitors on her birthday on 27 August at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

However, the PNP stressed that the request for additional visitors was denied because it was filed late. It also denied that it deprives detained individuals to have visitors.

A written request to visit a person in police custody must be made at least 10 working days before the date of the visit, according to Col. Mark Pespes, director of the PNP-Headquarters Support Service.

Pespes said that De Lima’s camp was aware of the existing protocol, hence they proceeded with their request on the evening of 22 August.

“The senator is aware that her request fell short of the required number of days stated in the memo, but the PNP Headquarters Support Service [still] made earnest efforts to process the request. However, it couldn’t be approved [on] time,” he added.

“We treat all PUPCs (persons under PNP custody) equally and no one is exempt from this policy,” he added.

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