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The disapproval by the Philippine National Police custodial authorities of the request of detained former Sen. Leila de Lima to allow the visit of 10 personalities for purportedly having been filed less than ten days before the intended visit is flimsy and arbitrary.

Rules are not cast on stone and their application must be flexible, depending on relevant circumstances like who is the one requesting the visit, who are the invited visitors, and what is the occasion.

In this particular case, former Sen. Leila de Lima, who is not a convicted felon and is still facing a sham prosecution, has the right to be visited by allies and defenders. 

Moreover, the invitees are known personalities who are not security risks or conspirators who have all been allowed to visit Sen. De Lima before, and the occasion was a special day for De Lima since it was her 63rd birthday.

Verily, rules must be tempered with justice and leniency.

The invited guests who were barred from visiting De Lima were myself together with Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, Ombudsman Conchita Morales, Sen. Frank Drilon, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Atty. Chel Diokno, Prof. Solita Monsod, Atty. Christian Monsod, Sec. Julia Abad, and Representative Tom Villarin.