Group advocating for De Lima’s freedom to hold webinar to address human rights repression in PH


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Ahead of the Senator’s 61st birthday on Aug. 27, theCommittee for the Freedom of Leila M. de Lima will hold a webinar on Aug. 22 to renew the call for public and government attention on the pervasive misuse of law in the country that stifles dissent and represses human rights, especially amid a global health crisis, under the Duterte regime.

The online forum, dubbed as “Clampdown Amid Lockdown: Human Rights Repression in the Philippines during the Pandemic,” aims to analyze some prominent cases of rights repression particularly during these extraordinary times to draw out insights on how to address them.

“This webinar is very timely amid the rising repression of our basic rights during these trying times,” said De Lima.

“Now, more than ever, it is important to sustain and increase the interest of public on the continued practice of weaponizing the law or lawfare against dissent or perceived critics of the government,” said De Lima.

The webinar via Zoom, which is scheduled from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, will be headed by Atty. Theodore Te, Regional Coordinator for Metro Manila and Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) member.

The experts who will lend their voice to offer opinions and on-the ground solutions to address cases of rights repression in the country in the webinar include Prof. Solita Collas-Monsod (former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emeritus, UP School of Economics) and Atty. Tony La Viña (former Dean, Ateneo School of Government). They are both among the core members of the committee advocating for the Senator’s freedom.

Aside from them, other experts who will grace the online forum are Dr. Gideon Lasco, PhD (Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer), Atty. Emerlynne Gil (Senior International Legal Advisor, International Commission of Jurists), and Mr. Jules Guiang (Former PTV4 Host; Founder, National Alliance of Youth Leaders).

They will tackle how the current government is misusing lawfare to clamp down on basic civil liberties by touching on some controversial issues such as the non-renewal of the ABS-CBN Network franchise and the enactment of the anti-terrorism law, which both occurred during the current pandemic, among others.

500 pre-registered attendees from groups of lawyers, law professors, law students, human rights advocates, media practitioners, and members of NGOs and CSOs, will be permitted to fill in the virtual room of Zoom.

The webinar will also be available via livestream on the official Facebook page of the Committee for the Freedom of Leila M. de Lima (@FreeLeilaCommittee).

“Clampdown Amid Lockdown: Human Rights Repression in the Philippines during the Pandemic” is scheduled just a few months after the groundbreaking event entitled “International Forum on Lawfare: Weaponizing the Law vs Democratic Dissent” last February that jumpstarted the discussion on the misuse of lawfare against democratic dissent. (30)

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