EU lawmakers ask Pimentel about death penalty bill
A delegation from the European Parliament (EP) inquired on tuesday about the death penalty bill passed by the House of Representatives and the human rights situation in the country during a courtesy call on Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Soraya Post, chair of the EP delegation of the subcommittee on human rights, said the group’s visit to the Philippines was not a fact-finding mission but rather a “fact-sharing mission.”
“As we are friends, we are very interested in the development of the situation of human rights in the Philippines. So we would like to have a meeting with different stakeholders in [the country],” Post said in an interview with reporters.
The EP observed a lot of killings in the administration’s war on illegal drugs and was concerned with a legislative move to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years old, Post said.
But she said that violation of human rights was not a problem exclusive to the Philippines.
“We can see a clear decrease on respect for human rights. It’s not only about the Philippines, it is across the world,” Post said.
She also confirmed reports that the delegation would visit Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday in her detention quarters in Camp Crame to look into her condition.
De Lima, a critic of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, had been linked to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntuinlupa City when she was the justice secretary, an accusation she had denied.
The delegation also made a courtesy call on Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday.
Pimentel said the delegation was indirectly appealing for the Senate not to pass the death penalty bill.