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PNP Chief given wrong legal advice – De Lima

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By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Leila de Lima on Friday lamented the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deny Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s request to allow her to conduct hearings inside the PNP headquarters.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)

De Lima said PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde could have been given the wrong legal advice when they deliberated on the Senate leadership’s appeal that she be allowed to perform her duties as chair of the Senate committee on social justice, welfare, and development while incarcerated.

The opposition senator is currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame and is facing drug charges.

“It seems PDG (Police Director General) Albayalde has been given the wrong legal advice based on a misreading of case law, and I am sad about it,” De Lima said in her latest dispatch.

“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,” de Lima said.

The PNP, in denying Sotto’s request, said matters related to De Lima’s exercise of duty is up to the courts to decide.

Likewise, the PNP cited two similar cases decided by the Supreme Court where it ruled that “all prisoners whether under preventive detention or serving final sentence cannot practice their profession nor engage in any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in detention” in the case of People vs. Maceda.

Another ruling that the PNP cited was the case of the People vs Jalosjos, where it ruled that election to a legislative position “is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement.”

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