Dispatch from Crame No. 118: (Sen. Leila de Lima on the Liberal International visit)

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I thank the Liberal International (LI) Human Rights Committee Chairman Markus Loning for visiting me today, together with the representatives of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Philippines.

The LI President himself, Dr. Julie Minoves-Triquell, was supposed to be part of the group but he was denied entry for purported lack of clearance from PNP higher-ups. I feel bad about this because a proper and timely request was made by my staff. Given the stature of Dr. Triquell in the international diplomatic sphere, this particular incident can be a potential cause for embarrassment for our authorities.

In any case, the dialogue with my guests went very well as it was very engaging. We discussed various pressing issues across the globe.

I expressed my heartfelt gratitude to them for lending their voices in denouncing the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, for seeking action from the European Union (EU) against what they called as President Duterte’s “illiberal state” because of the continuing violations of fundamental rights and rule of law, and for condemning my arrest brought about by Duterte’s personal vendetta and political persecution.

As they checked on my condition as a prisoner of conscience, I stressed my innocence and asserted that my arrest and detention are founded on orchestrated lies and fabricated evidence. I told them that despite my and the continued attacks and lies against me by this regime, I still manage to perform my duty as a sitting Senator by filing bills and resolutions, but I desire a more active involvement in law-making through participation in the voting particularly on major measures.

It is clear: The whole world knows the appalling situation in the Philippines, and it is only a matter of time that Mr. Duterte and his cohorts be held accountable for their injustices and for perpetuating the culture of impunity, fear and violence in this country. Fake news and this regime’s propaganda cannot hide these from the international community.

#FreeLeilaNOW
#WorldisWatching

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