Dispatch from Crame No. 343: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on the Letter of General Albayalde


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It seems PDG Albayalde has been given the wrong legal advice based on a misreading of case law, and I am sad about it.

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. The request is simply to allow me to conduct Committee hearings within Camp Crame.

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. It was in light of this understanding that Sen. Trillanes was then allowed to conduct the hearings of his committee inside the custodial center.

It could not have been the contemplation by the Court in the case of Senator Trillanes, and even that of Congressman Jalosjos before it, that a person under pre-trial or pre-sentence detention and who has been presumed innocent could not engage in any productive work, especially if one is to perform public functions as an elected official.

In any case, I fully appreciate SP Sotto’s commitment that he is reviewing his options on how to go about the issues. I have every faith that SP Sotto and PDG Albayalde can come to an acceptable resolution on this matter. I remain hopeful for a satisfactory outcome that will be good for the institution and integrity of the Senate.

Nais ko po talagang makapagtrabaho bilang bagong Chairperson ng Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, kung saan may mga nakasalang na mga makahulugang panukalang batas. ###

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