6 American lawmakers ask: Free De Lima
Six American lawmakers have filed a resolution in the US House of Representatives condemning the continued detention of opposition Sen. Leila de Lima and calling for her release.
California Rep. Jackie Speier filed US House Resolution No. 233 “condemning the Government of the Philippines for its continued detention of Senator Leila de Lima, calling for her immediate release, and for other purposes” on March 14.
It was cosponsored by Representatives James McGovern of Massachusetts, Henry Johnson of Georgia, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Brad Sherman of California and Lloyd Doggett of Texas.
It was referred to the foreign affairs committee.
The resolution also sought to condemn the government for its role in extrajudicial killings (EJKs) by police and other armed individuals as part of the administration’s war on drugs.
It also condemned the arrest and detention of human rights defenders and political leaders.
The resolution said “extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Government of the Philippines as part of a Government-directed antidrug campaign present the foremost human rights challenge in the Philippines.”
It cited the US state department’s 2017 Human Rights Report which noted several concerns, including the persecution of human rights defenders and the detention of political prisoners.
Prisoner of conscience
The resolution said charges were brought against De Lima after she had criticized the EJKs and President Duterte’s antidrug campaign.
De Lima was ordered arrested for alleged involvement in drug trafficking on Feb. 23, 2017.
It noted that De Lima had investigated death squads in Davao City when she was the Commission on Human Rights chair and Mr. Duterte was the city mayor.
De Lima, the resolution said, is considered a prisoner of conscience “detained solely on account of her political views.”
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