Draft EU resolution calls for De Lima's 'immediate release'

MANILA, Philippines – European lawmakers proposed a draft resolution calling for the "immediate release" of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug charges filed by the Duterte administration.

The European Parliament is scheduled to discuss and vote on De Lima's case on Thursday, March 16.

The proponents said their joint motion for a resolution on Wednesday, March 15, "calls for the immediate release of Senator Leila M. De Lima and for her to be provided with adequate security whilst in detention."

Still referring to De Lima's case, their motion also "calls on the authorities of the Philippines to ensure a fair trial, recalling the right to the presumption of innocence, to drop all politically motivated charges against her, and to end any further acts of harassment against her."

The draft resolution comes weeks after De Lima was arrested February 24. President Rodrigo Duterte accuses her of protecting drug lords.

De Lima, however, insists that the Duterte administration concocted the drug charges against her because she is Duterte's fiercest critic. (READ: De Lima's fate: Karma or political persecution?)

Aside from De Lima's case, the draft EU resolution said the European Parliament "is deeply alarmed" by the decision of the Philippine House of Representatives "to reintroduce the death penalty."

It also "calls on the authorities of the Philippines to immediately halt ongoing proceedings to reinstate the death penalty." (READ: What happened behind closed doors to the death penalty bill)

Duterte is pushing to reinstate the death penalty to boost his war on drugs, which has killed more than 7,000 people even without capital punishment. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

image