Courts grant medical furlough to De Lima as doctor fears mild stroke

Detained Senator Leila De Lima clad in her PPE

Detained Senator Leila De Lima, clad in PPE, attends the hearing of her drug case at the Muntinlupa RTC BRanch 256 for the first time  since the COVID-19 restrictions. Photo courtesy of Sen. De Lima’s office.

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima’s request for a medical furlough was granted by the courts following an appeal of her physician that she may have suffered a mild stroke while in detention on drug charges.

Both Branch 205 and Branch 256 of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court gave De Lima a three-day furlough starting on Saturday (April 24), at 10:00 a.m.

The courts’ separate rulings came after De Lima’s camp filed a very urgent motion for medical furlough last Wednesday, as she complained of headache and weakness. After being checked, her physician Dr. Meophilla Santos-Cao said that it might be possible that the senator experienced a mild stroke, which required being checked up and submitted to some tests not available inside Camp Crame.

De Lima is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center due to drug-related charges stemming from her stint as Justice secretary during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III.

“Wherefore, premises considered, and finding the very urgent medical furlough to be meritorious, the same is hereby granted for humanitarian and health reasons.  Accused De Lima is allowed to go on a three day medical furlough immediately upon the receipt of this order,” Branch 205 Presiding Judge Liezel Aquiatan said.

“Accused De Lima is hereby given leave of Court to go on an emergency medical furlough […] at the soonest time possible for a period of not more than three days for her requested checkup,” Branch 256 Presiding Judge Romeo Buenaventura said in his order.


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