Tañada urges Senate to allow De Lima to join online Senate sessions


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Former Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III has appealed to the Senate leadership to allow Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima to attend the chamber’s plenary sessions and committee hearings via teleconferencing or other forms of electronic communications from within her place of detention at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

During the pilot episode of “Acronyms: Work from Prison” last April 20, Tañada stressed that De Lima should be permitted to participate in Senate sessions remotely considering that the current situation has allowed her colleagues to work from home or attend sessions via teleconferencing.

Ako ay nalulungkot, unang-una, hindi pa dinedesisyunan ng Korte na guilty si Senator Leila. So because of that, may presumption of innocence. And since they are allowing Senators to work from home, they should allow Senator Leila to also participate in the deliberations in Congress dahil may internet na naman eh,” he said.

Yung prohibition in not allowing Senators to attend at that time when that law was made eh dahil wala pang internet. So ngayon may internet and she is still presumed innocent, she should be allowed to participate from where she is detained,” he added.

As a co-equal branch with the Executive, Tañada said he hopes the Senate will find the courage and independence to allow De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, to attend the chamber’s online sessions and hearings.

Ang nakakalungkot dito, yung Senado ay hindi nagpoposisyon. Ayaw magposisyon. Tatanungin ninyo kung bakit? Takot sila kay Pangulong Duterte… Dapat may courage. Kung pinaniniwalaan mo na tama yung pagtingin mo na may presumption of innocence ang isang tao, ay dapat pinaglalaban yan,” he said.

It may be recalled that the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 rejected De Lima’s omnibus motion she filed on June 2020 seeking to allow her to participate in Senate sessions via teleconferencing.

In said motion, De Lima said that there is no longer any valid reason to discriminate against her because “participation in Senate sessions and Committee hearings and meetings by all members of the Senate is made possible and, more importantly, necessary to be done via teleconferencing” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed Senate Resolution No. 658 seeking to allow De Lima to participate in Senate hearings and plenary sessions through teleconferencing.

The Senators explained in their resolution that due to the national emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate and its committees have now been conducting plenary sessions and committee hearings through remote and electronic means.

Hosted by Gary Granada and Bayang Barrios, “Acronyms: Work from Prison” was screened on Official Leila de Lima page and cross-posted on other Facebook pages such as Free Leila de Lima Movement, Rappler, LAPIS-SeeSaw, DAKILA, We The Future PH, Active Vista, Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios, and Cooky Chua. (30)

(Watch Acronyms: Work from Prison Episode 1 here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=365004831507771&ref=watch_permalink)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.