Sunday, September 23, 2018
Close  
  • share this
‘FREE DE LIMA’ CALL

Palace slams ‘meddling’ by NY-based rights group

Malacañang on Wednesday scored the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) for calling on the government to drop the drug charges against Sen. Leila de Lima, saying the call was tantamount to “meddling” in the country’s internal affairs.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said HRW was “desperate to get some media mileage and public attention in the Philippines by beating a dead and decaying horse.”

ADVERTISEMENT

De Lima is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

“[It] is nothing but sheer meddling with our country’s domestic affairs. We condemn this continued interference not only because it misleads the public, but because it mocks the integrity of our justice system,” Roque said.

Prisoner of conscience

He said HRW was trying to portray De Lima as a prisoner of conscience and martyr for justice.

“She is none of these. She is facing charges of a criminal nature, plain and simple. Her arrest … strictly followed legal procedures,” Roque said.

The spokesperson said the legal process should be allowed to proceed since De Lima’s case had been filed at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.

The rights group had described De Lima’s case as “politically motivated.”

“President Duterte saw to the arrest of Senator De Lima a year ago to vilify her for her strident and principled opposition to his murderous drug war,” said Phelim Kine, HRW Asia deputy director.

Kine said that the senator’s prosecution had brought greater attention to Mr. Duterte’s demolition of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

ADVERTISEMENT

Release De Lima

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, for his part, joined the clamor for the release of De Lima.

Trillanes on Wednesday spoke before De Lima’s supporters who gathered in the Senate to launch the “Month of Leila,” a monthlong commemoration of the senator’s yearlong detention.

Trillanes said he would deliver a privilege speech next week on the “terrible injustice” done to De Lima. He stressed that she was a victim of the Duterte administration’s “bastardized … justice system.”

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Harry Roque, Human Rights Watch, Leila de Lima, war on drugs
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.