Senate minority wants De Lima’s attendance in ‘critical’ sessions
The six-man minority bloc in the Senate will ask the court to allow detained Senator Leila de Lima to attend the session and committee hearings in the Senate on “critical matters” like the death penalty bill.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the minority group or De Lima herself would file a petition in court.
“We’ll petition the court, she’s under the custody of the court so we will petition the court or Senator De Lima will petition the court and we’ll support the petition,” Drilon told reporters on Monday after he and three other minority members visited the lady senator at her detention cell at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Quezon City.
Aside from Drilon, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV paid a visit to de Lima. All five senators, including Senator Bam Aquino, belong to the Senate minority group.
De Lima’s visitors arrived at Camp Crame around 11 a.m. and left past 12 noon.
Drilon said they discussed with De Lima the legislative agenda of the Senate in the next weeks. After more than a month–long break, Congress will resume its session on Tuesday.
“We sought her (De Lima’s) views on the various bills pending in the Senate so that we can carry these views to the floor during the debate,” he said.
“We also decided that in critical matters like ‘pag dumating ang death penalty bill sa Senado, hihilingin namin na mapagbigyan si Senator de Lima na makapag-attend ng aming session, at ng committee hearing so that she can express her views in participate in the deliberations.
“Because she is a duly-elected senator and therefore she has every right to participate in the proceedings in the Senate,” the minority leader added.
Drilon admitted that it would be a “little ambitious” to ask the court to allow de Lima to regularly participate in Senate deliberations.
“Well, to be candid, (to) regularly participate is a little ambitious; baka hindi po makaya, so only in critical matters that will be discussed on the floor or in the committee, we will ask that she be allowed to attend,” he said.
Aside from the issue on the death penalty, Drilon said they would also ask the court to allow De Lima to participate in discussions on the proposed postponement of this year’s barangay elections.
Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party, said they would also request that De Lima would be allowed to participate in the proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from the present 15 years old to nine.
“I think if that comes to a vote, ganun din ang magiging position natin na pagbigyan siya, payagan siya ng korte na makapunta sa Senado para makaboto dito sa mga panukalang batas na ito,” he said. JE/rga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.