LI backs De Lima vs. Political Persecution


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The Liberal International (LI) today reaffirmed its support to Senator Leila M. de Lima, as she faces the trumped-up charges filed against her by the Duterte Administration.

In her latest Dispatch from Crame, De Lima, a human rights defender, expressed her gratitude from the international organization, for seeking the support of the European Union in denouncing Duterte’s “illiberal state” that has only violated the basic human rights of Filipinos.

“I thank the Liberal International (LI) led by President Dr. Juli Minoves-Triquell and LI Human Rights Committee Chairman Markus Loning, for visiting me today in my detention quarters. Together with the representatives of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Philippines, we discussed various pressing issues across the globe,” she said.

“I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the LI 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,” she added.

De Lima, a former Justice Secretary, was arrested on trumped-up charges fabricated by the Duterte Administration. This case is rooted on her continued opposition to the murderous drug war of the administration, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s personal vendetta against the Senator.

The LI, along with other international groups such as Amnesty International and the European Union, have joined the calls condemning De Lima’s arrest, citing the obvious political persecution of Duterte and his cohorts in the law enforcement and justice sector.

De Lima stressed with the LI leadership her innocence and commitment to meaningful legislation, even while in detention. To date, she has already filed 15 bills and 17 resolutions while under arrest.

“As they checked on my condition as a prisoner of conscience, I stressed my innocence and asserted that I have been detained due to fabricated evidence and trumped-up charges. Despite my detention and the continued attacks and lies against me by this regime, I assured them that I am actively performing my duty as a sitting Senator,” she said.

“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 the government’s propaganda cannot hide these from the international community,” she added.

De Lima said the outpouring support from the international community has only inspired her to continue her battle to uphold human dignity and respect for the rule of law.

The LI is the third international organization to have sent representatives to visit De Lima. It can be recalled that the Senator previously received members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union last May, and a 12-member delegation of the European Union earlier this week.

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