De Lima to celebrate Christmas, New Year behind bars
Sen. Leila de Lima will be able to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with her loved ones while in detention after the Philippine National Police suspended its no visitors rule on Mondays.
Upon the senator’s request, the PNP suspended the rule at the PNP Detention Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 because both dates fall on a Monday.
De Lima, who is detained for drug charges, wrote Chief Insp. Erickson Polinag of the PNP Detention Center and appealed that she be allowed to see her loved ones on both dates.
In her Dec. 15 letter, the senator said that it was the wish of her family, relatives and a few friends to celebrate the two holidays with her through a Mass, lunch and merienda.
“Since both holidays fall on a Monday, a no visitors day, and the spirit of the Yuletide season, may I humbly request for exemption from the no visitors rule for both days and accordingly allow visits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” she said.
In response, the senator was allowed to receive relatives on Dec. 24 until 1 a.m. of Dec. 25 and again from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Dec. 31, De Lima was also allowed to receive relatives until 1 a.m. of Jan. 1 and again from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
De Lima said she was glad her request was granted “especially [since] I failed to be with them during Lent and All Saints’ Day, which are two very important occasions for the entire family.”
“This is indeed an early Christmas gift,” she said in a statement.
Although she was still sad she could not spend the holidays with her mother who remains unaware of the senator’s detention. “We don’t want to cause her misery and grief by giving her details about my unjust detention,” she said of her mother.
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