Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima will temporarily leave her detention quarters tomorrow (May 13), Election Day, to cast her vote at the polling precinct in Parañaque City where she is a registered voter.
De Lima was allowed by the courts handling her trumped-up drug cases to vote under police escort at the Polling Precinct No. 0648A in the Saint Rita College, formerly Saint Rita School, in Parañaque City between 12 noon until 2pm.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa pagkakataon na makaboto ngayong eleksyon, hindi lang para gampanan ang aking tungkulin bilang mamamayan, kundi upang isabuhay at patibayin pa ang diwa ng ating demokrasya,” she said.
Last April 30, Judge Liezel Aquiatan of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 205, granted De Lima’s urgent motion for furlough allowing her to vote under the Commission on Elections’ “Escorted Detainee Voting System” on May 13.
The lady Senator from Bicol, however, was ordered “to refrain from giving interviews before and after casting her vote” on Election Day.
Judge Amelia Fabros Corpuz of Branch 256, meanwhile, has also granted De Lima’s petition for furlough to vote under “Escorted Detainee Voting System” on May 13 midterm elections in an open court last April 12.
Two of the three trumped-up illegal drug trade charges filed against De Lima are being handled by Branch 205 while the other one is in Branch 256.
In exercising her right to suffrage, the former justice secretary committed to “bear all the necessary cost and expenses” for her transport to and from her polling place at Santa Rita College located at Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Sucat, Paranaque City.
De Lima, a known election lawyer, also took the opportunity to remind the Filipino electorate to value their right to suffrage and help rebuild a more just and humane society by electing worthy leaders in the elections tomorrow.
“Nananawagan po ako sa ating mga kababayan: Sa ating pagboto, piliin natin ang mga pinunong magtataguyod ng solusyon sa problema ng bayan, at tunay na maninindigan sa katotohanan, karapatang pantao at katarungang panlipunan,” she said. De Lima, considered as a leading prisoner of conscience, has been detained for more than two years now for obviously ridiculous drug charges invented by the Duterte administration for political reasons and personal vendetta.