Almost 5 months after Philippine Liberal Senator Leila de Lima – an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte – was arrested in the Philippines, the President of Liberal International (LI), Juli Minoves, was arbitrarily barred from meeting face-to-face with the human rights champion while Chair of Liberal International’s Human Rights Committee and ALDE Party Vice President, Markus Loening, was granted access and a meeting at the site of her incarceration, Camp Crame, Quezon City, The Philippines.
In a statement issued having been refused entry to Camp Crame, LI President, Juli Minoves said: “The Regime in the Philippines has abandoned even the appearance of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."
"In preventing my meeting with Senator De Lima the authorities obviously did not like that we questioned human rights in the country a the United Nations last month. Parliamentary immunity is meant to protect sitting members of parliament from undue political and other pressures. Pre-trial detention is completely disproportionate especially for a sitting senator. Under international standards pre-trial detention should in no case be longer than six months. President Duterte, a lawyer himself, should be well aware of this.”
LI Human Rights Committee Chair and ALDE Party Vice President, Markus Loening, who was able to meet with Senator De Lima, added: “More than 13.7 million people voted for Senator Leila De Lima and right now she should be fighting the extension of martial law in the Senate, not wasting her time sitting in prison."
“The charges against Senator de Lima are based solely on the conflicting testimonies of criminals who were subsequently absolved of drug charges after they agreed to be prosecution witnesses. Liberal International calls for the immediate release of Senator de Lima from detention.”
Source: Liberal International