European Liberals slam De Lima’s arrest
Key European Liberals on Saturday decried the arrest of Liberal Party (LP) Sen. Leila de Lima on what they said were “politically motivated” drug charges, vowing to rally European Union and global support for the release of the lawmaker, who described herself as “the first political prisoner” under President Duterte.
“The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Europe (Alde) Party is deeply concerned about the arrest of the Liberal Party Sen. Leila de Lima in particular and the deteriorating human rights situation in general,” said Hans van Baalen, Alde President and Liberal International president of honor.
“The Philippines, under the leadership of President Duterte, is turning rapidly into an illiberal state, where there is no respect for the law whatsoever,” Van said in a statement issued in London by Liberal International.
The LP is a member of Liberal International, the world federation of Liberal and progressive democratic political parties.
Van Baalen said he had written the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, “in order to see what action the European Union can take” to free De Lima.
Liberal International’s human rights committee chair Markus Löning, formerly Germany’s commissioner for human rights, promised to push for De Lima’s release and called on Mr. Duterte to respect the rule of law.