De Lima thanks int’l organizations for continued concern over her plight and renewed calls for her freedom


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

 Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is grateful to international leaders and organizations who asserted their support for her by condemning her continued political persecution and calling for her immediate release on her 5th year in unjust detention.

De Lima, who marked her five years in unjust incarceration last Feb. 24, said she appreciates the continued solidarity with her by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI) and the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) in renewing their call for her freedom.

“I am humbled and thankful to the members of the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights for their continued support for me and my causes. It means a lot to me,” she said.

“The collective and unceasing effort from the international community to call for my release and ensure that I achieve justice continues to place a global spotlight on my situation as it also highlights the abuse of the justice system in the country,” she added.

In separate statements, HRW and AI said the candidates for this year’s national elections should commit to freeing De Lima.

 “Senator De Lima’s long-term wrongful detention exemplifies the lawlessness and cruelty of the Duterte administration. Candidates for president should commit to free De Lima immediately and to rebuild the Philippines’ tarnished criminal justice system to meet international standards,” HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said.

“After the killings and impunity that were a hallmark of the Duterte administration’s so called ‘war on drugs’, human rights must feature front and center in the election campaign agendas of all candidates.

“This includes the immediate and unconditional release of Senator De Lima, who continues to speak out against grave violations despite five years of unjust detention,” said AI Philippine Researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard.

Charles Santiago, APHR Chair and a Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP), for his part, said De Lima should be freed because she “is no criminal, and continues to stand up for truth, justice, and accountability.”

“It is deeply shameful for President Duterte and his government to deprive Senator De Lima of her liberty and political rights, including her right to freely campaign for her candidacy. As long as the Senator is wrongfully deprived of her freedom, the Philippines cannot be seen as a country that respects the rule of law,” Santiago said.

De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the trumped-up charges filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, she was acquitted in one of these three cases on February 17, 2021. The two other cases are still pending.

The international organizations noted that the attacks and politically motivated charges against De Lima stemmed from her strong stance on Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs and other serious human rights violations.

Just last week, the European Parliament (EP) also expressed their support for De Lima by issuing a resolution condemning, among others, her continued unjust detention and other human rights abuses in the country. The text was adopted by 627 votes in favor. (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.