By Genalyn Kabiling
The decision of the Philippine National Police to bar a foreign visitor of detained Senator Leila de Lima has nothing to do with politics, Malacañang asserted Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the police simply followed protocol when Liberal International president Juli Minoves was not included in the visitors’ list of De Lima last Saturday.
“Our authorities are strictly following protocols in the PNP Custodial Center. It is unfortunate that the name of Mr. Juli Minoves, President of Liberal International, was not included in the list of approved visitors scheduled to see Senator Leila De Lima on that day,” he said.
Abella pointed that Minoves’ companions were allowed to enter the detention facility and visit De Lima because their names were on the list.
“There is no need to add political color to an issue which has none,” he added.
Minoves, who flew from Europe to Manila to meet with De Lima, has expressed dismay over being deprived the opportunity to visit the senator.
He suspected that he was banned entry to the police facility after submitting a letter to the United Nations complaining about the “deterioration of the state of democracy and the rule of law in the Philippines” last month.
De Lima is currently detained inside Camp Crame pending a trial on alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.