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Minority senators thank European Parliament for resolution on De Lima’s release

/ 10:25 AM September 20, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Senate minority members expressed gratitude and appreciation on Sunday to the European Parliament for adopting a resolution calling for the release of fellow minority senator Leila De Lima.

In a joint statement, Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan said the parliament’s move is a “welcome addition” to the growing body of respected persons and institutions in the Philippines and abroad who condemn De Lima’s arrest and detention as “baseless” and the criminal charges against her as “nothing more than politically-motivated fabrications.”

“We express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for the members of the European Parliament for adopting a resolution calling for the release of our colleague, Senator Leila De Lima, from imprisonment and the dismissal of the trumped-up charges against her,” they said. 

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They added that the resolution should also remind the Duterte administration that the international community will not turn a blind eye and do nothing against the government’s attacks against the fundamental freedoms of Filipinos and the “severe deterioration” of the human rights situation in the country in the past four years.

“We stand with the European Parliament in urging the government to free Senator De Lima and end her continued detention, and to stop extrajudicial killings, human rights abuses and other acts which have victimized and harmed countless Filipinos,” the senators said.

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“As long as Senator De Lima remains languishing in jail under such dubious charges and unjust circumstances, the current administration cannot truly claim that it is promoting justice and upholding the rule of law in the country,” they added. 

Voting 626 to seven, with 52 abstentions, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday expressing its “deepest concern at the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation” in the country under the leadership of Duterte.

Among the calls made by the elected legislative body of the European Union to the Philippine government was the immediate release of De Lima, saying she was being held since 2017 for “politically-motivated charges.” 

De Lima has lauded the resolution, saying that it “reminds us that the world is constantly watching and that justice will catch up to those who do injustice to others one way or another.”

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TAGS: European Parliament, Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros
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