Dispatch from Crame No. 683: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Passage by the US Congress, and Signing into Law, of the Ban vs Her Persecutors as Embodied in the 2020 Appropriations Bill


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My gratitude to the US Congress is overwhelming for including in the final and approved Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2020, now signed into law by the US President, the provision restricting the travel to the US of those responsible for and party to my persecution and imprisonment, or the Durbin/Leahy amendment.

This latest development signals the fact that impunity cannot last and that one way or another, justice will catch up with those who choose to do injustice to others. This also signifies a solid recognition by the US government that I am a clear victim of political persecution.

Complementary to this law which denies issuance or cancels existing US travel visas to Philippine government officials involved in my wrongful imprisonment, is proposed US Senate Foreign Relations Resolution 142 which, among others, calls on the US President to implement the sanctions provided in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act on my persecutors and members of state security forces and other Philippine government officials responsible for human rights violations, specifically within the context of Duterte’s drug war.

More than denying travel visas to subject PH officials, GloMag also imposes the freezing and forfeiture of their US assets, properties, and bank accounts. Once this is also implemented, we will witness how the world of human rights violators in the Philippine government increasingly shrinks. This will teach them that human rights is not a domestic concern, but a universal interest that affects the security of all nations, regardless of where the violations occur.

Systematic and widespread violation of human rights, like what we experience under the Duterte regime, is not an exercise of sovereignty or independence. It is a crime against humanity that must be condemned and punished with sanctions by the community of nations, as it is now being punished by the US Congress. It is only a matter of time before the European Union, Canada, and other nations follow suit in imposing sanctions on Duterte, his officials and their cohorts.

Human rights is fighting back! Accountability is coming!

A most wonderful Christmas blessing! Thank you US! Thank you, dear God! ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 683, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._683)

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