Drilon: Put De Lima on house arrest

Former Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday urged the judge handling the case of former senator Leila de Lima to “take a second look” at the evidence on her case and allow her to be on house arrest. 

In an interview at the Senate, Drilon, who returned to the upper chamber to unveil the Legacy Wall with his fellow lawmakers, said it is upon the prerogative of the judge.  

“If she inclines not to grant the bail, may we request that Senator De Lima be allowed detention in her residence,” he said.

“For others, hospital detention is allowed. The same here, the legal issue is, where should be detained. That is the power and prerogative of the judge,” he added. 

Drilon, who served as Justice secretary for six years from 1990 to 1995, made an appeal following the foiled hostage-taking of De Lima last Sunday. 

‘Free Leila’

Meanwhile, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros reiterated her call to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to set De Lima free, who had been detained since 2017. 

“As to the offer of the president, I really believe that she should be transferred not to another detention center, but returned to freedom, which has been her right, based on truth, based on justice these past six years,” Hontiveros said in a separate interview.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said that he will not oppose any actions to free De Lima, who has been detained for allegedly pocketing payoffs from drug lords when she was still the justice secretary to raise money for her senatorial campaign in 2016.

Hontiveros expressed her hope that charges against the former lawmaker would soon be junked by the court.

“I really hope not just her defense lawyers but the court itself and the whole justice system will take the step or steps forward to see that cases and accusations filed against her are baseless,” she stressed. 

“Even the testimonies and witnesses against her whom I mentioned earlier, more and more have been recanting their testimony,” she added.

More than five years since she was detained, at least three key witnesses recanted their previous statement in relation to the drug charges against De Lima.

Marcelo Adorco, the bodyguard and driver of self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa, a government key witness, retracted his allegations against De Lima. 

In his counter-affidavit, Adorco withdrew his testimonies against Espinosa, claiming that he was threatened and coerced to sign the affidavit against the two.

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