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Former VP Leni, Leila meet in Naga

MANILA, Philippines — Former vice president Leni Robredo and former senator Leila de Lima were reunited in Naga City, Camarines Sur yesterday.

De Lima – who was released from detention on Monday after a Muntinlupa court granted her bail petition on her final drug case – returned to her hometown Iriga City, also in Camarines Sur, on Wednesday. She then travelled to Naga City, Robredo’s hometown.

A video of their meeting showed an ecstatic Robredo greeting De Lima upon her arrival. The two hugged as the former senator alighted from the van that she rode.

“I am very happy. Even though it took a while, she still attained justice. She sacrificed for a long time. A lot to things that were lost cannot be recovered, but finally she is already out,” Robredo told reporters in Filipino.

Robredo said they did not talk about politics, with their discussion mainly focusing on personal matters.

“She deserves to have time to deal with personal affairs before thinking about the next steps for the opposition or the next steps for the party. She needs a lot of time to catch up for herself,” she added.

De Lima unsuccessfully ran for reelection last year under Robredo’s ticket. Both are members of the Liberal Party, although the former vice president ran as independent in the 2022 presidential elections as a “symbolic way” to show her openness to work with other parties.

Robredo earlier welcomed the court’s decision to grant De Lima’s bail plea, describing it as a victory for the entire nation.

“We have long been waiting for this day, with the belief that the truth and what is right will always prevail,” she said in Filipino. “Through all these years, Sen. Leila has been a source of inspiration for us. Her courage and her faith lent so many of us the resolve to continue fighting the good fight, to speak truth to power, and to keep believing that the Filipino people deserve somuch more.”