De Lima ‘humbled’ by int’l institutions’ actions on her case
Detained Senator Leila de Lima said she was “humbled” by international organizations’ actions and recognition of what she called “questionable and sham character” of the charges against her.
In particular, De Lima cited the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s plan to send representatives to the Philippines to check on her condition. The senator has been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame over drug charges.
“In all sincerity and humility, I thank the IPU, particularly its Governing Council, for seriously and swiftly taking up my case and for having expressed its deep concern about my arrest and detention. I thank and honor them for their easy grasp and discernment of my and the country’s situation,” she said in a handwritten statement on Friday.
“I’m humbled by the actions of the IPU and other highly reputable institutions such as the European Parliament, and their recognition of the questionable and sham character of the charges against me.”
De Lima insisted that she was not only being persecuted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, but she was also falsely accused and her character was “severely demeaned.”
In a resolution on Wednesday, the IPU committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians said it was “deeply concerned about Senator De Lima’s arrest, detention and the accusations levied against her.”
The committee said it was also concerned about Duterte and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s statements, portraying the senator as guilty even before legal proceedings against her have started.
“Their statements, first and foremost those of the Head of the State, forcibly carry great weight and may put undue pressure on the course of the criminal cases,” it said.
De Lima praised the IPU for wisely taking the issue on Duterte and the Justice Secretary’s statements on her case.
“Enlightened men and women as they are, the IPU wisely takes issue on the very public statements of Duterte and his Secretary of Justice which undeniably partake prejudgment which ‘flout the principle of the presumption of innocence,’ hence, grossly violative of my constitutional and human right to due process,” she said.
“Yes, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the IPU and the European Parliament, I have been persecuted, and continue to be persecuted by the Duterte regime. I have been falsely accused and my character severely demeaned. That’s why I’m intensely glad and grateful that the whole world is watching,” the senator added.
De Lima has been in detention since February 24. JE
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