De Lima: Duterte can’t ignore build-up of international pressure on his regime


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte cannot escape justice and global condemnation on his regime that is known for its widespread human rights violations.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, made the statement after a bill which seeks to terminate military and police aid to the Philippines over rights issues has been recently introduced in the United States House of Representatives.

“Duterte can no longer ignore the build-up of pressure of the western democracies on his regime and its dismissal of international concerns on its human rights record,” De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 923.

“As we have said time and again, Duterte continues to make the Philippines a pariah state at the expense of the Filipino people and its national institutions,” she added.

House Resolution 8313, or the “Philippine Human Rights Act,” authored and filed by Rep. Susan Wild from Pennsylvania and co-sponsored by 23 other Democrat lawmakers, seeks to “suspend the provision of security assistance to the Philippines until the Government of the Philippines has made certain reforms to the military and police forces, and for other purposes.”

Malacañang downplayed the filing of the bill as presidential spokesman Harry Roque called the move “a very wild suggestion.”

The Philippine Human Rights Act Bill was introduced barely a week after the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to immediately suspend EU trade preferences to the Philippines due to its dismal human rights record.

“In addition to the EU and US pressures, we also expect the International Criminal Court to receive the results of its Prosecutor’s preliminary examination on Duterte’s crimes against humanity any time now before the year ends,” De Lima noted.

The lady Senator from Bicol said Duterte’s day of reckoning will come soon because “the world does not cease watching.”

“As they say, ‘walang forever’, even in the rule of a strongman who does not want to stop killing poor citizens in the name of a fake drug war. The clock has started ticking on Duterte, and his time is fast running out,” she said.

“Magnitsky Acts are being replicated in several major democracies. Soon, like Duterte, not even the AFP and PNP officials responsible for the political witch hunts will be safe outside of the country, except probably in China and other authoritarian states they won’t even bother travelling to,” she added.

As such, De Lima shared that she finds it tragic that the professionals in uniformed services still chose to throw in their lot with Duterte, even when the latter is already about to go down, taking them all with him.

Akala ba talaga nila pang-forever si Duterte?” asked De Lima. (30)

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