VISIT TO DE LIMA. Staff members of US Senator Dick Durbin and the US Embassy visit undergo security procedures during their visit to detained former senator Leila de Lima at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame on Thursday (Dec. 1, 2022). The visit began at 9:40 a.m. and ended at 10:20 a.m. (Photo courtesy of PNP)


MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – Staff members of an American senator on Thursday visited former Senator Leila de Lima in her quarters at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.

In a press statement, the PNP Public Information Office said de Lima, a person under PNP custody, was visited by Chris Homan, senior adviser on national security and foreign policy of US Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, and three others assisted by US Embassy personnel around 9:40 a.m. Thursday.

The visit was allowed by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branches 204 and 256 and was coordinated by the US Embassy in Manila with the PNP.

PNP acting chief of directorial staff Maj. Gen. Michael John Dubria approved the visit upon compliance with all the requirements and necessary security protocols.

The visiting team was received at the Chief PNP’s Lounge and PNP Grandstand for briefing and documentation followed by frisking and depositing of personal items before entry at the PNP Custodial Center.

They were briefed by Lt. Col. Larry Gabion, Chief of Custodial Center, particularly on the adjusted security measures at the facility following the botched escape attempt by three detained members of the Abu Sayyaf Group that threatened de Lima’s life last Oct. 9.

Homan was informed that de Lima’s health condition is regularly monitored by PNP doctors.

The team was also briefed on de Lima’s personal decision to remain at the facility despite offers of transfer to a detention facility.

De Lima is confined in separate living quarters where she has her own basic furniture and fixtures.

The visit wrapped up around 10:20 a.m.

De Lima has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City since February 2017.

She is facing drug-related charges for her alleged role in drug proliferation inside the national penitentiary when she was justice secretary during the term of the late President Benigno Aquino III.

De Lima was acquitted in one of her three drug cases in February last year, while two others are pending before the courts.