De Lima to ICC, UN: End impunity in PH
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima has urged the international community to take urgent action to end impunity in the Philippines, particularly the government’s bloody war against illegal drugs.
“It is imperative for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and relevant United Nations bodies and mechanisms to work and work urgently not only to frustrate Duterte’s plans but more importantly and ultimately to shrink the space for impunity in the Philippines,” she said.
Take urgent actions
De Lima made the remarks in a message read on her behalf on the sidelines of the 39th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday.
Her message, titled “Shattering the Consensus of Silence: Let’s Take Urgent Actions Against Impunity in the Philippines,” called on the ICC and the UNHRC to end impunity in the country.
A fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, De Lima claimed that more than 20,000 suspected drug users and pushers were killed in the government’s war on illegal drugs.
“There is no sign that the killings will ever stop as Mr. Duterte has even vowed in his recent State of the Nation Address in July that his drug war would remain ‘relentless and chilling’ as on the day it began,” she said.
She asked: “Thus, as high officials and agents of government themselves are involved in this spate of killings and attacks against our people, can we honestly expect the wheels of justice to turn?”
De Lima is hopeful that the UNHRC would pass a resolution condemning the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and deploy an independent fact-finding mission here.
Earlier this month, she wrote a letter to the UNHRC member-states to urge them to send an independent fact-finding mission to the Philippines to investigate the extrajudicial killings.
The senator also called on the ICC to expedite its preliminary investigation on the human rights situation in the country, even as the government had unilaterally withdrawn its ICC membership.
She said the President’s ploy was to discredit international organizations, which had the will to exact accountability from him.
Protect human rights
“More than the appeal to actions from governments and intergovernment bodies, there is a cogency in the call for international solidarity and mobilization of public support to uphold, defend and protect human rights in the Philippines,” De Lima said.
She added: “We have to move—move with utmost urgency and in solidarity with each other. With political leaders themselves demonizing their own people and instigating human rights violations, the need for all of us to stand together and fight for the basic values of human dignity and equality of everyone everywhere has now become absolutely urgent.”
She pointed out the need to take a stand against human rights abuses, especially if other legal means of redress fail.
“Where do the Filipinos go now? Expectedly, we have to turn to those avenues which seem available and appear viable to us: to each other, to the international community and to the various instruments of global justice,” she said.
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