De Lima seeks furlough to attend son’s graduation rites


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has filed an urgent motion before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branches 205 and 206 to grant her furlough to attend the graduation rites of her youngest son Vincent Joshua de Lima Bohol set on June 3.

In filing her Very Urgent Motion for Furlough last May 15, De Lima requested the Court to allow her to attend the commencement rites with an allowance of at least two hours at the end of the ceremony for some personal time with her son and family.

“[The] Accused begs leave that she be allowed to share this joyous moment with her son and family, and to be there to continue to affirm her support as her son is set to take the bar exams on November 2018 to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, taking inspiration from his parents,” she said.

Of the three trumped-up illegal drug trade charges filed against De Lima, two are being handled by Branch 205 while one is in Branch 206. The case originally referred to Branch 204 has been re-raffled to Branch 205.

In her four-page Motion, De Lima noted that Vincent is set to graduate with bachelor degree in law from San Beda College, in Alabang, Muntilupa during its 8th Commencement Exercises, tentatively scheduled from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 3.

De Lima, a lawyer by profession, further asked the Court to allow her to stay for two to three more hours after the graduation rites to join her family in a simple dinner reception in celebration of Vincent’s milestone.

In justifying her plea, De Lima cited how furloughs on special occasions and personal matters were previously granted by the Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan, such as birthday of the accused and visit to a sick relative, respectively.

In particular, De Lima cited the case of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, then detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, whose similar Motion to attend the high school graduation of his son Julio Emilio Estrada was granted by the Sandiganbayan.

“A family member’s graduation is regarded as a milestone event in every Filipino family. To be personally present in such a special occasion is more than a compelling duty on the part of the accused De Lima as a mother,” she added in her petition.

The former justice secretary assured she is not a flight risk and has no intention of fleeing, as proven by how she has been respectful of the legal process at all times.

It may be recalled that as early as December 2016 when the filing of charges against her were almost a certainty, De Lima went abroad to receive an international award at the Washington DC and to speak at a conference in Berlin, Germany. She returned to the Philippines immediately after the conclusion of both events to face the charges against her.

More so, De Lima also voluntarily surrendered at the Senate upon the service of Warrant of Arrest against her on politically-motivated illegal drug trade charges on Feb. 24, 2017.

In her Motion, De Lima vowed to immediately submit to the Court the necessary certifications and specific schedule pertaining to the graduation of her son once duly released by the San Beda College – Alabang, School of Law. It is the third time that De Lima sought the Court’s permission to grant her furlough, the first was to attend the Senate inquiry on the death of Kian de los Santos but was deemed moot, and the second one was to seek medical check-up last May 10 which was granted.

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