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Even during her birthday today, former Senator Leila de Lima is unreasonably deprived of the company of her closest friends and ardent defenders.

Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, former Supreme Court Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Morales and human rights advocate Atty. Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno were barred from visiting De Lima when they personally went today to the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.

They were told that De Lima’s pending request for their visit was disapproved and only De Lima’s immediate relatives were permitted to visit her.

The disapproval was communicated to De Lima only this morning.

Also disapproved was the request for the visit of former Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, former Senator Frank Drilon, Atty. Christian Monsod, Professor Winnie Monsod, former Secretary Mar Roxas, former Congressman Tomasito Villarin and former Secretary Julia Abad, among others.

Lagman said that “every long day that passes with Sen. Leila still baselessly imprisoned tarnishes the human rights record of the Philippines.”

Lagman added that “we hope that this would be the last time Sen. De Lima will have her birthday in prison because every birthday in odious captivity is grossly tragic and an utter disaster for Philippine democracy and the rule of law.”