Press Release
April 28, 2018

De Lima hits Duterte admin's double standards on sovereignty issue

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has slammed the Duterte administration for embracing a double standard on the issue of sovereignty aimed to neutralize criticisms from the outspoken human rights community.

De Lima, a staunch critic of the administration's war on drugs, also chided Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano for criticizing the European Parliament (EP) for adopting a resolution urging the Philippines, among others, to end extrajudicial killings in its drug campaign.

"Speaking of twisting right and wrong, Duterte and his minions have been milking the sovereignty argument to defend its atrocious rights violations and justify its harassment and threats of deportation against foreigners who are rights advocates..." she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 290.

She added, "sabi po ni Foreign Affairs Secretary at spokesperson ng mga death squads na si Alan Cayetano, wala raw pong karapatang magsalita ang EU sa tuloy-tuloy na patayan kaugnay ng gyera kontra-droga dahil ito ay 'internal affairs' ng Pilipinas."

In the government's obvious effort to silence dissenters, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) detained elderly Australian missionary and known human rights advocate Sr. Patricia Fox last April 16, for supposedly participating in protest rallies. Days after, the agency's board of commissioners forfeited her visa and asked her to leave the country.

Last April 19, EP formally adopted a resolution calling on the Philippines to end extrajudicial killings in its drug campaign, "to immediately carry out impartial and meaningful investigations into the EJKs," and to immediately release De Lima from detention, as well as drop all politically motivated charges against her. In reacting to the said resolution, Cayetano alleged that it was "based on biased, incomplete and even wrong information and does not reflect the true situation on the ground" even as he accused EP's action of constituting interference.

The Senator from Bicol maintained that Cayetano's statement only verifies that their administration is guilty of crimes against humanity.

"Iba na talaga ang garapalang baluktot na pangangatwiran at pagpapawalang-halaga sa buhay ng mga Pilipinong dapat nilang pinagsisilbihan, kung ang tanging nasasabi na lamang nila ay: 'Sariling mamamayan namin ang napapatay sa teritoryo namin. Huwag n'yo kaming pakialaman!' she said.

Highlighting what she described as the Duterte administrations hypocrisy, De Lima noted how the government has remained mum on the issue of Chinese incursion in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"Di hamak pong mas malalang pagyurak sa ating soberenya bilang isang malayang bansa ang ginagawang pag-okupa ng China sa ating teritoryo kesa sa pagsasalita ng EU tungkol sa mga nangyayaring patayan at iba pang paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ng administrasyong ito," she said.

Note that even with the decision of United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal invalidating China's claim and ruling that Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over WPS, China refuses to honor the verdict.

News Latest News Feed