De Lima welcomes planned IPU fact-finding mission to PH

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Sen. Leila M. de Lima today welcomed the plan of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to visit her at her detention cell and examine the trumped-up charges of illegal drug trafficking the Duterte administration has filed against her.

     In her reaction to the resolution adopted at the 136th IPU Assembly last April 5, De Lima said the planned fact-finding mission of the members of the IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians would provide an unbiased view of the case.

     “The IPU’s resolution to send a fact-finding mission to the Philippines in order to get a clearer view on my case is indeed a welcome development. The Senate President has likewise welcomed this, and I hope that this would happen at the soonest time,” she said.

     “I trust that the IPU will be able to render an objective and fair assessment not only on my case but also, most importantly, on the human rights violations committed under the government’s murderous war on drugs,” she added.

     In calling for a fact-finding mission to the Philippines, the IPU has expressed deep concern over the illegal arrest and detention of Senator De Lima at the Philippine National Police Detention Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

    According to IPU, it does not make sense that the Philippine government charged Senator De Lima with illegal drug trafficking when as then Justice Secretary, she took lead role in stopping the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntilupa City.

     In addition, IPU noted that Senator De Lima has been very vocal in criticizing the Philippine government’s war on drugs which has resulted in the unprecedented rise of extrajudicial and summary killings in the country.

     It also noted the statements made by President Duterte and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre as serious reason to believe that De Lima is targeted by the present government to silence her from her outspoken criticism on government anti-war policy.

     De Lima, who initiated a Senate probe into the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions in the government’s all-out war on drugs, said the IPU’s resolution strengthens her arguments that her case is a clear example of political persecution.

     She likewise thanked the IPU leadership for its concern not only over her security while in police detention but also over the court trial under the present administration, adding that she is looking forward to meeting with the IPU delegation soon.

      “I thank the IPU for its concern through its resolution. I am hoping that the Philippine government would allow their unhampered visit so that they can observe and assess the real human rights situation in the country,” she said.

    The IPU Resolution adds up to the growing number of multilateral organizations and human rights advocates who have expressed serious concern over the illegal arrest and detention of De Lima over trumped-up charges of illegal drug trafficking.

      While the IPU has yet to issue a timeline for its visit, it has committed to send a representative to observe the legal proceedings in the case.

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