Press Release
April 24, 2018

De Lima welcomes EP's call to release her, end EJKs

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has welcomed the official resolution adopted by the European Parliament (EP) urging the Philippine government to drop all politically-motivated charges against her and end any further acts of harassment against her.

De Lima, a known human rights defender, also commended the Party of European Socialists and European lawmakers for bravely addressing the worsening human rights situation in the country, including the rash of extrajudicial killings linked to President Duterte's war on drugs.

"From the very start, I have always kept my innocence from all the trumped-up illegal drug trade charges filed against me. This support I'm getting from the European Parliament, other institutions and human rights groups who keep their faith in me further bolsters my courage to continue without relent my fight against injustices and EJKs," she said.

"I also thank and commend the European lawmakers for voicing their opposition to the wrongdoings and human rights violations of this administration despite the risk of being attacked by our foul-mouthed President, his lapdogs, and his army of online trolls," she added.

Last April 19, the European Parliament formally adopted a resolution reiterating its call for the Philippine government to immediately release De Lima from detention, as well as drop all politically motivated charges against her, as it called for the European Union to keep closely monitoring the case against the Senator.

"...Whereas Senator De Lima led the investigations into the extrajudicial killings in Davao while President Duterte was mayor of the city; whereas there are serious concerns that the offences Senator De Lima has been charged with are almost entirely fabricated and politically motivated," EP noted.

The said resolution also called on the Philippines to end extrajudicial killings in its drug campaign, drop human rights defenders, including UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, from its list of terrorist, and "to immediately carry out impartial and meaningful investigations into the EJKs," among others.

The EP had issued similar calls before. In a resolution on Sept. 15 2016, it condemned EJKs and urged the Philippine government to stop the drug war killings. It also adopted calls for the immediate release of De Lima, on March 16, 2017.

De Lima pointed out that instead of criticizing EP's adopted resolution, the government can do better by heeding the calls of the European lawmakers and socialists to prove that their administration is not guilty of crimes against humanity.

"While I have always been thankful for all the support I am getting from local and international leaders demanding for my release, I have always pointed out that more than my freedom, I am more concerned about the rising death toll in Duterte's drug war and how the killings should stop now," she said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano recently slammed the EP's latest resolution, alleging it was "based on biased, incomplete and even wrong information and does not reflect the true situation on the ground."

"If there is one thing the Duterte administration is really good at, it's on attacking personalities and groups critical of this administration. That way, it will be easy for them to dismiss valid criticisms about the government as another political interference, if not destabilization plot," she said.

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