Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the Filipino people to resist and not tolerate the prevailing culture of impunity under the Duterte administration which has emboldened more killings, corruption and legal and judicial harassments against critics.
De Lima, a known human rights and social justice champion here and abroad, warned that the continued lack of resistance from the public will only embolden Mr. Duterte and his minions to further abuse their powers.
“I said this before: ‘Impunity once unleashed has no bounds. Anything can happen,’ she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 591.
“It’s happening! Impunity in the killings, corruption, repression of dissent and legal or judicial harassments versus critics, and abuses in the exercise of presidential powers,” she added.
Under the Duterte regime, several well-known personalities involved in plunder and other high-profile cases were acquitted while some of them were able to temporarily regain their freedom.
Mr. Duterte also transferred several government officials involved in corruption issues, including former Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon, to other juicy posts instead of filing criminal and administrative cases against them. Just recently, cases of sedition, inciting to sedition, and other crimes, were filed against several opposition members, including De Lima and Vice President Leni Robredo, and other government critics in connection with the controversial ‘Bikoy’ videos.
The lady Senator from Bicol expressed dismay over the little or no resistance from the public about the excesses and rampant extrajudicial killings that are happening under the Duterte regime.
“And we’re allowing or tolerating all these. So little resistance. Many voices are muzzled. How can we further stand this regime!” she added.
As part of her effort to fight impunity, De Lima has filed Senate Bill No. 371 or the Anti-Extrajudicial Killing Bill, which seeks to define and provide for acts that constitute EJKs and ensure accountability over the suspicious deaths recorded under the Duterte administration.
As the staunchest critic of Mr. Duterte’s bogus war on drugs and rampant EJKs, the administration filed trumped-up charges against De Lima using convicted criminals as witnesses.
She has repeatedly declared her innocence from the concocted drug charges, expressing belief that the truth will finally come out amid the lies being hurdled at her by the government.