Dispatch from Crame No. 116: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the visit of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights – Mission to the Philippines


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I am deeply grateful to the 12-member delegation from the European Union, led by the four (4) Members of the European Parliament (MEP), namely: Soraya Post (Sweden), Adam Kósa (Hungary), Josef Weidenholzer (Austria), and Rikke Karlsson (Denmark), who visited me today at my detention quarters.

I personally thanked the MEPs for expressing indignation and serious concerns over my arrest during their plenary session in Strasbourg, France last March. They stood firm in saying that the charges filed against me were fabricated and subsequently called for my immediate release through their European Parliament (EP) Resolution.

My guests looked into my condition as a “prisoner of conscience,” deprived of liberty for defending human rights, opposing the brazen killings and flagrant violations of human dignity in the wake of Duterte’s murderous war on drugs. I asserted before them my absolute innocence of the accusations against me.

We also discussed the human rights situation in the country and several legislative measures such as the re-imposition of death penalty and the lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility—both of which I strongly oppose.

Once again, these visits from international institutions prove that indeed, the world is watching closely what is happening in our country under the Duterte regime. The US Congress will even hold hearings on the widespread human rights violations across the globe, including the Philippines.

This regime, therefore, should better shape up and stop living in a fantasy world where it believes it can do anything based on one man’s whims. The growing clamor for accountability will ensure that justice will catch up to them. ###

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