Former Senator Leila de Lima has been granted bail, bringing an end to her six-year-long detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
The decision was handed down by the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206 on Monday, November 13.
Expressing her emotions upon stepping out temporarily from detention, De Lima exclaimed, “Precious freedom! Free at last!”
She addressed the media, conveying gratitude for what she described as the moment she had been eagerly anticipating for more than six years.
The formal release process is now underway, with police authorities initiating the necessary procedures following the court’s order. The legal counsel for De Lima, Atty. Boni Tacarardon, confirmed on Monday that Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 approved the motion for reconsideration for her bail petition, setting the bail amount at ₱300,000.
A wave of joy and well-wishes flooded social media and public platforms as political figures, including Bam Aquino, Erin Tanada, Kiko Pangilinan, and former Vice President Leni Robredo, celebrated De Lima’s release.
Matagal nating hinintay ang araw na ito, sa pananalig na ang tama at totoo ang palaging mananaig.
Pinatutunayang muli ngayon na walang basehan ang mga paratang laban kay Senator Leila. Ang lahat ng mga paninira at panggigipit na naranasan niya sa loob ng halos pitong taon ay… https://t.co/zpiIkZknwX
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 13, 2023
— Erin Tañada (@erintanada) November 13, 2023
Hindi napigilang umiyak at ngumiti sa galak habang nasa video call. Masayang masaya kami para sa’yo, Sen. @AttyLeiladeLima . Salamat sa lahat ng mga nanampalataya at naniwala kay Atty. Leila. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/9ihnkgCT6z
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) November 13, 2023
Court order directing the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police to release Leila. Makakalaya na siya! Matagal na natin itong ipinaglalaban. Hustisya!!!!! pic.twitter.com/9KVxqPKG7G
— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) November 13, 2023
MY PRESS STATEMENT ON SENATOR DELIMA’S GRANTED BAIL
Although justice delayed is justice denied, justice finally secured is still justice redeemed. pic.twitter.com/eA5TTN8oWl
— Edcel Lagman (@lagman_edcel) November 13, 2023
The wheels of Justice grinded exceedingly slow for Leila but today, she was granted bail.
There were no evidence in the 1st place but to rid the annoyance of one petulant man, those who administered Justice twisted it. In the end, people recanted & the truth came out.
— Edwin Lacierda (@dawende) November 13, 2023
Sa wakas! Laya na si Leila! 🖐🏻
— Kit Belmonte (@AttyKitBelmonte) November 13, 2023
— Teddy B. Baguilat (@TeddyBaguilatJr) November 13, 2023
an instance of justice and a day of celebration for @AttyLeiladeLima
you were deprived of liberty, but you’ve always remained free!
— Florin Hilbay (@fthilbay) November 13, 2023
This is a huge victory for justice! I salute you and admire your courage and fortitude, Sen. @AttyLeiladeLima . Despite almost seven years of incarceration, you stood by your principles and never wavered in your fight for justice. 1/3 https://t.co/DnF1eTd468
— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) November 13, 2023
Even Senator Grace Poe, who was on the opposing side during the vote to oust De Lima, extended a message of goodwill.
PLASTIK! Pweh! Ambisyosang sakim sa posisyon! Wala kang kredibilidad! Anim na taon kang tahimik lang habang “ginagahasa” ni Duterte ang bayan. Pwede ba, mas lalong nakakairita pag ika’y nabibigay ng pahayag na ganyan. Nakakaalibadbad! Ewwww! pic.twitter.com/mxqfVJIWfZ
— DAVAOMIGRANT (@nabunturanguy) November 13, 2023
Foreign ambassadors, such as those from Germany, United Kingdom and the United States, also joined the chorus of well-wishers, recognizing the significance of De Lima’s release.
— Ambassador Andreas Pfaffernoschke (@germanyinphl) November 14, 2023
🇬🇧 welcomes that @AttyLeiladeLima has been released on bail after six years.
A significant step for #RuleOfLaw in the 🇵🇭.
We will continue to follow her case closely and look forward to seeing the remaining charges against her resolved quickly in accordance with 🇵🇭 law.
— Laure Beaufils 🇬🇧 (@LaureBeaufils) November 13, 2023
Welcome news to see @AttyLeiladeLima approved for release at long last. We continue to follow her case closely and look forward to seeing the remaining charges against her resolved in accordance with Philippine law.
— Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson (@USAmbPH) November 13, 2023
The former senator faced incarceration in 2017 on allegations of involvement in the illegal drug trade within the New Bilibid Prison—a charge vehemently denied by De Lima. The court dismissed one of the three drug cases against her in 2021, and in May 2023, the second case met the same fate.
Adding to the twists in the legal saga, two state witnesses rescinded their testimonies against De Lima in October, citing a guilty conscience as the reason for their change of stance.