Foreign rights leaders visit De Lima in Camp Crame

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Juli Minoves (left), president of Liberal International, and Markus Löning, LI human rights chair, talk with reporters outside the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo from the Office of Sen. Leila de Lima)

Liberal International (LI) Human Rights Chair Markus Löning visited Sen. Leila de Lima in her cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame on Saturday.

LI President Juli Minoves, however, was barred from visiting de Lima.

Aside from Löning, representatives of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Philippines also visited the detained senator.

De Lima thanked the human rights leaders for their visit, though she said she felt bad for what happened to Minoves.

The senator said Minoves “was denied entry for purported lack of clearance from PNP higher-ups.”

“I feel bad about this because a proper and timely request was made by my staff,” De Lima said in a dispatch issued from her cell. “Given the stature of Dr. Triquell in the international diplomatic sphere, this particular incident can be a potential cause for embarrassment for our authorities.”

But despite the incident, she said her dialogues with ther guests “went very well as it was very engaging.”

“We discussed various pressing issues across the globe,” she said.

“I expressed my heartfelt gratitude to them for lending their voices in denouncing the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, for seeking action from the European Union (EU) against what they called as President Duterte’s ‘illiberal state’ because of the continuing violations of fundamental rights and rule of law, and for condemning my arrest brought about by Duterte’s personal vendetta and political persecution,” she added.

She also reiterated her innocence on the drug charges filed against her, saying they were “founded on orchestrated lies and fabricated evidence.”

“I told them that despite my and the continued attacks and lies against me by this regime, I still manage to perform my duty as a sitting senator by filing bills and resolutions, but I desire a more active involvement in law-making through participation in the voting particularly on major measures,” she said.

De Lima said President Rodrigo Duterte and his cohorts would soon be held accountable for their abuses.

“It is clear: The whole world knows the appalling situation in the Philippines, and it is only a matter of time that Mr. Duterte and his cohorts be held accountable for their injustices and for perpetuating the culture of impunity, fear and violence in this country,” she said.

“Fake news and this regime’s propaganda cannot hide these from the international community,” she added. /atm

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