De Lima: PNP chief given ‘wrong legal advice’ in denying Sotto’s request
Senator Leila de Lima on Friday expressed sadness that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde could have been fed with the wrong legal advice based on a misreading of case law when he denied the request of Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
De Lima pointed out that the Senate President’s request was to allow her to conduct committee hearings inside Camp Crame where she is now being detained.
“Let it be stressed that Senate President Sotto, in his letter-request, is not asking that I be allowed to leave Camp Crame and attend hearings or sessions in the Senate premises,” she said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the PNP rejected Sotto’s request to allow the detained senator to conduct hearings inside the PNP Detention Facility in Camp Crame.
In denying Sotto’s request, Albayalde cited in his letter two Supreme Court cases including that of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who while detained was allowed to do legislative work.
“The ratio decidendi or main point in the case of Senator Trillanes, which PDG Albayalde cited in his reply to SP Sotto, is actually the recognition by the Court that a detained legislator could still “somehow accomplish legislative results” despite the limitations caused by the confinement in so far as it restrains the power of locomotion or physical movement,” she explained.
“It was in light of this understanding that Sen. Trillanes was then allowed to conduct the hearings of his committee inside the custodial center,” she added.
The former justice secretary added that it could not have been the contemplation of the Court in the case of Trillanes that a person under pre-trial or pre-sentence detention and who has been presumed innocent could not engage productive work especially performing public functions as elected officials.
But De Lima said she is hopeful that Sotto and Albayalde could come to an acceptable resolution on the matter as she appreciated the Senate President’s effort to review his options.
“I remain hopeful for a satisfactory outcome that will be good for the institution and integrity of the Senate,” she said.
She stressed that she wanted to perform her duty as the new chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development where at least six bills are pending. /muf
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