SENATOR Leila de Lima should abandon her plan to seek the court’s permission for her to participate in Senate deliberations on important bills because she would just be wasting her efforts if she proceeded with it, former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said on Tuesday.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Estrada added that the Senate does not need de Lima’s presence for it to perform its legislative duties because the senators can easily muster a quorum.
“The Senate can function even without you! In fact, they don’t even need your vote! You should know that! You’re supposed to be a topnotch lawyer, right?” he said.
Like de Lima, Estrada is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in connection with a plunder case against him.
The former senator was reacting to an earlier statement of de Lima that her legal team is studying legal options for her to be allowed to attend sessions at the Senate.
De Lima wants to take active part in the deliberations on important legislative measures and attend other official functions in the Senate even while in detention.
Estrada recalled that he made a similar attempt when he was still a senator and asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to attend the last session of the Senate in 2016 for him to pack his things and to bid farewell to his colleagues but the court turned it down.