MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has approved a request by Senate President Tito Sotto to allow Senator Leila De Lima to conduct committee hearings inside her prison cell. The incatcerated Senator is Chair of several Senate committees.
In approving the request, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde set several conditions that must be met and strictly followed, among them:
- All Senators and staff attending the committee hearings inside the PNP Custodial Center will be strip-searched and be required to wear hospital gowns.
- Mugshots of first-time visitors to the Center — both Senators and staff — will be taken and filed with the PNP
- The Senators and staff will be handcuffed throughout the committee proceedings
- No cameras will be allowed inside. However, the Center’s Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) may be used to record the committee proceedings
- The committee hearings will be off limits to the news media, but Asec Mocha Uson will be allowed to do a Facebook Live and report on the committee proceedings on her social media accounts
- The only international media that will be allowed to cover the committee hearings will be BBC, specifically Stephen Sackur.
- No food or drinks may be served during the committee meetings, except boiled saging na saba
- At the conclusion of each committee hearing, Senator De Lima will be strip-searched to ensure that no prohibited items were left with her by the visiting Senators and staff.
Democracy is alive and well in the Philippines!