Foreign visitor barred from seeing De Lima
The head of an international group of political parties was barred on Saturday from seeing detained Sen. Leila de Lima at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
Liberal International (LI) president Juli Minoves, who came to the Philippines from Europe specifically to meet with De Lima, expressed disappointment over being deprived the chance.
LI is an organization of some 100 political parties, including the Liberal Party of the Philippines, around the world. Before Minoves became president of the group, he was foreign minister of Andorra and was ambassador to the United Nations (UN).
Minoves claimed he was told by policemen assigned at the custodial center that they had lost his formal letter requesting to see the detained senator so he could not enter the detention facility for a visit.
State of democracy
His colleagues, LI human rights committee chair Markus Loening as well as Friedrich Naumann Foundation-Philippines president Wolfgang Heinze, were allowed inside the custodial center.
Minoves showed reporters an LI statement “about the deterioration of the state of democracy and the rule of law in the Philippines” submitted last month to the UN.
“I think this is the real reason why they are not allowing me to see Senator De Lima, because we presented (this) to the United Nations. This is our duty and explanation of why we are very concerned about the deterioration of the rule of law and on the case of Senator De Lima,” Minoves pointed out.
Human rights violations
In the statement, LI asked the UN to remain vigilant on the case of the detained senator and, Minoves stressed, “to condemn the continuing violation of fundamental human rights and the rule of law in the Philippines.”
“This is why I’m not allowed to visit Senator De Lima today. This is the real reason. The other administrative issue is an excuse because we submitted in advance on Monday my request to visit Senator De Lima,” he pointed out.
Asked for the purpose of his visit, Minoves said, “My purpose was just an inquiry into her detention, knowing politically how things are doing in the Philippines. We, of course, raised the issue of Senator De Lima in the United Nations so obviously we are interested with having contact directly with her to understand how she is doing, if she is well treated and how her detention is.”
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