Liberal Party forms task force to assist De Lima
MANILA, Philippines – The once-ruling Liberal Party (LP) has created a task force that will focus on assisting jailed Senator Leila de Lima in her work as legislator, in recognition of her “exemplary achievements for the party and [the] country.”
A copy of LP’s National Executive Council (NECO) Resolution-2018-02 was sent to reporters on Wednesday, September 26. The NECO members signed it during their meeting held in Quezon City on Tuesday.
De Lima, who is one of the fiercest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been jailed in Camp Crame since February 2017 over multiple drug charges. (READ: De Lima: One year of living and surviving in jail)
In the resolution, the LP NECO said the embattled senator has given the party “tremendous honor and enormous inspiration.”
“Out of utmost concern and due regard for her situation, [the LP NECO] recognizes her exemplary accomplishments for the party and our country, even as it takes concrete and sustained actions to improve her personal and work conditions,” said the resolution.
The task force is expected to closely coordinate with De Lima, her office, defense team, and other groups and individuals to assist her in handling her legal, legislative, and other work-related concerns.
The LP NECO said the main goal is “establishing and maintaining working arrangements contributory to the resolution and/or improvement of her current situation.”
While in detention, De Lima has received recognitions, including the prestigious Prize for Freedom award in July. The other awards she received include 2016 and 2017 Global Thinker Award by Foreign Policy, one of the Top Most Influential People for 2017 by Time magazine, one of the notable Women Human Rights Defenders for 2017 by Amnesty International, and 39th World's Greatest Leader by Fortune magazine, among others.
In the same resolution, the LP also condemned the continued “political persecution” of De Lima under the current administration.
The Supreme Court earlier ruled against De Lima's petition to nullify her arrest warrant on questions of case jurisdiction, thereby keeping her in jail.
Read the full copy of the LP NECO’s resolution below: