De Lima seeks court permission to attend son's law school graduation

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima asked the court to allow her to attend the graduation rites of her youngest son Vincent Joshua Bohol on June 3.

De Lima on Tuesday, May 15, filed a Very Urgent Motion for Furlough before Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branches 205 and 206, with a request to be given at least two more hours at the end of the ceremony for some personal time with her family.

De Lima said her son is set to graduate with a law degree from San Beda College in Alabang. The graduation rites are scheduled from 2 pm to 7 pm on June 3, a Sunday.

"[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 in November 2018 to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, taking inspiration from his parents," stated De Lima's 4-page motion.

"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."

In justifying her plea, De Lima cited how the Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan granted furloughs on special occasions and for personal matters.

De Lima specifically cited the case of former senator Jinggoy Estrada, then detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, who was allowed by the Sandiganbayan to attend the high school graduation of his son.

The former justice chief also assured the court that she is not a flight risk and has no intention of escaping.

It is the 3rd time De Lima has sought court permission to temporarily leave detention. The first was to attend the Senate inquiry into the death of Kian delos Santos, which was deemed moot, while the second was to undergo a medical checkup, which was approved. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email