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De Lima: UN never fails to seek gov’t liability for ‘worst human rights calamity’ in PH

/ 11:00 AM October 24, 2019
De Lima United Nations

Senator Leila De Lima. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of the United Nations (UN) Day, Senator Leila de Lima commended the international organization for never faltering to seek accountability from the Duterte administration amid what she claimed as the “worst human rights calamity” in the country.

“Our nation is currently plunged into the worst human rights calamity, with thousands of government-sponsored summary killings under the guise of a war on drugs, and increased threats and harassment against political dissenters, human rights defenders and the free press,” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame on Thursday.

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“In the midst of all this, the United Nations has never faltered in calling for accountability and an independent probe of the Duterte government,” she added.

Last July, the UN Human Rights Council adopted an Iceland-led resolution that would prompt the rights body to conduct a thorough review of the human rights situation in the Philippines, including drug war killings under the Duterte administration.

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READ: Greater scrutiny on PH killings gets UN rights council’s nod 

The detained senator underscored the international organization’s consistent provision of humanitarian assistance to the Philippines, especially in times of disasters and conflicts, such as in typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and the Marawi siege in 2017.

“With the Philippines among its 51 founding members, the UN has always offered its available mechanisms in addressing issues of serious international concern, such as violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” she said.

De Lima also expressed gratitude over the UN’s “keen interest” on her “situation as a prisoner of conscience.”

READ: UNHRC asks Philippine gov’t to release detained Senator De Lima 

The senator has been detained since February 2017 on what she repeatedly called as “trumped up” drug charges against her.

“I am unjustly detained for 973 days now for speaking truth to power in defense of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy,” she said.

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“Indeed, the world is watching to safeguard against injustice and other breaches to our shared pledge of upholding human rights as a community of nations,” she added.

She then called on Filipinos not to lose hope for a better future as she urged everyone to “strengthen our solidarity for the progress and dignity of all” amid a “world of challenges and crises.”

“With authoritarian regimes re-emerging, inequality rising, and climate change worsening, we should hold steadfast to our universal dreams and aspirations,” De Lima said.

“Let us reaffirm our commitment to international cooperation for peace and security, civil liberties and sustainable development,” she added.

The UN Day marks the 74th year that the Un Charter entered into force with the world organization’s pledge to achieve lasting world peace.

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