Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. personally asked former Sen. Leila de Lima her preferred detention options after the hostage-taking inside a facility at the national police headquarters, her legal counsel said Monday.

Filibon Tacardon told CNN Philippines Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos called the president on Sunday. Abalos was at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City to visit De Lima after the incident, and this was when the conversation took place.

“Nakapag-usap si Senator Leila de Lima at si President Marcos over the phone kung saan naikuwento ni Senator de Lima ang nangyari at ang sabi nga ni President Marcos (was), ‘Tell me what you want,’ sabi nga niya. Pagkatapos non, nag-alok na si Secretary Abalos ngpossibility ng transfer. Kaya lang at that time, alam naman natin respectfully nadecline muna ni Senator de Lima yung offer ni Secretary Abalos,” said Tacardon on News Night.

[Translation: Senator Leila de Lima and President Marcos spoke over the phone where Senator de Lima was able to say what happened and the President said, ‘tell me what you want.’ After that was when Secretary Abalos offered the possibility of transfer. But as we all know, at that time Senator de Lima respectfully declined Secretary Abalos’ offer.]

De Lima was taken hostage by Feliciano Sulayao Jr., a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group also detained at the facility. Sulayao and two others attempted to escape but were killed.

In her statement, De Lima recalled how Sulayao blindfolded her and pointed a sharp object to her chest. She said it was a “near death experience.”

At a briefing on Sunday, Abalos said De Lima opted to stay at the custodial center because she felt safe there.

Tacardon added there was no discussion of dismissing cases against her.

He clarified that Abalos’ offer was to transfer De Lima to a different cell within the custodial center.

“Kaninang hapon nalaman po namin na yung suggestion pala ni Secretary Abalos ay ilipat lang ng lugar si Senator de Lima mula sa kasalukuyang kwarto at ilipat siya sa dating lugar nila Senator Revilla at Senator Estrada… which is just on the other side of the wall kung nasaan yung kwarto ni Senator de Lima,” he said.

[Translation: We found out this afternoon that Secretary Abalos’ offer was to move Senator de Lima from her current location to the area where Senator Revilla and Senator Estrada stayed… which is just on the other side of the wall where Senator de Lima is now.]

Tacardon said the rooms are of the same size, but the location meant De Lima would be father from other detainees.

“Ako, knowing personally yung layout nung lugar niya, mapapalayo siya — mas siguro magiging maayos yung seguridad kaya siguro yun ang intensyon ni Secretary Abalos kahapon,” he said.

[Translation: Personally, knowing the layout of her area, she would have better security and I think that’s what Secretary Abalos wanted.]

De Lima said Marcos was surprised at what happened, asking the former senator, “so totoo palang na-hostage ka (so it’s true you were taken hostage),” Tacardon said about their conversation, which he noted was casual.

Tacardon said they have sent word to the PNP that they would want to coordinate and cooperate in the investigation to know what really happened.

“At kung possible na makapag-ambag din kami ng suhestiyon para kung diyan pa rin mag-stay si Senator de Lima,” he said.

[Translation: If it’s possible, we would also like to give suggestions to increase Senator de Lima’s safety if she will still stay there.]