Former Senator Leila M. de Lima is grateful to the members of the Liberal International (LI) for continuing to express their solidarity with her by urging the new administration to free her from unjust detention.
De Lima, who has been unjustly detained for over five years now, thanked the LI for their unwavering commitment in upholding democracy and fighting injustice.
“I thank the LI for renewing their call for my freedom. Amid these challenging times, having kindred spirits vouching for my integrity and calling for my freedom makes this ordeal more bearable,” she said.
LI recently expressed grave concern about what it deemed as “the worsening state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Asia as evidenced by the continuing and intensifying suppression of fundamental freedoms, repression of democratically elected political opposition, proliferation of disinformation or fake news, use of sharp power and rise of ethno-religious extremism.”
Citing the case of injustice involving De Lima, LI called upon new President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. “to release the former Senator from prison”, saying that LI Congress supports “the immediate and unconditional release of [former] Senator Leila de Lima who has been in detention for more than five years on bogus illegal drugs charges.”
Despite her continued unjust detention brought about by the vindictive regime of former President Rodrigo Duterte, De Lima said she remains optimistic that truth will still come out in the end and that her vindication will come.
“No matter how late, truth will always prevail. I am confident because I am innocent and truth is on my side,” she said.
LI, the world federation of liberal and progressive democratic parties, has previously denounced De Lima’s arrest as politically motivated.
In 2017, it urged the Duterte administration to immediately release her from continued unjust detention and allow her to fulfill her mandate as a sitting Senator of the Republic.
In 2018, some 60 lawmakers and human rights defenders from LI, through a signed manifesto, have renewed their call for the Philippine government to release De Lima from continued unjust detention and drop all trumped-up charges against her.
In the same year, LI recognized De Lima’s courage in defending human rights by conferring her the prestigious “Prize for Freedom” Award. De Lima is the second Filipino to receive the Freedom Prize, after then President Corazon Aquino in 1987. (30)