February 28, 2017
The ICJ condemns the arrest and detention of Senator Leila De Lima and calls for her immediate release.
The ICJ believes that the charges brought against Senator De Lima are fabricated and thus considers her prosecution to be politically motivated and amounting to judicial persecution.
Senator De Lima is a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“This is clearly meant to silence for good a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
In August 2016, Senator De Lima led an investigation by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights into hundreds of cases of extrajudicial killings occurring after President Duterte assumed power.
On 19 September 2016, however, she was removed by her colleagues from her position as chairperson of the said committee due to their concerns towards her “continuous efforts to destroy the President”.
Weeks before her removal, on 25 August 2016, President Duterte had accused Senator De Lima of running a drug trafficking ring inside New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice Secretary.
Tagged: The Philippines