Leila de Lima

Solve human rights cases, foreign nations urge PH after De Lima’s acquittal

Jairo Bolledo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Solve human rights cases, foreign nations urge PH after De Lima’s acquittal

Former senator Leila de Lima sits down with Paterno Esmaquel II for Rappler Talk, on March 22, 2024.

Rob Reyes/Rappler

'I urge the government to quickly resolve all cases of EJK and bring perpetrators to justice!' German Ambassador to the Philippines Andreas Pfaffernoschke says

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign countries renewed their call that the Philippines solve its human rights cases, following former senator and opposition icon Leila de Lima’s acquittal in all of her cases.

In a statement, the United States Department of State said it welcomed De Lima’s acquittal.

“We continue to urge the Philippines to resolve politically motivated cases, including those against journalists and civil society, in a manner consistent with its international human rights obligations and commitments,” US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

German Ambassador to the Philippines Andreas Pfaffernoschke said he was glad that De Lima can continue her work on human rights and justice. “I urge the government to quickly resolve all cases of EJK and bring perpetrators to justice!”

Luise Amtsberg, German Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance, also hailed De Lima’s acquittal.

“Great to see that Leila de Lima of the Philippines was finally cleared today of all charges. She never deserved to be in prison for more than six years. Speaking out against injustice is not a crime,” the German official said.

On Monday, June 24, Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206 granted De Lima’s petition for demurrer to evidence, which effectively acquitted her on her third and last drug case. Demurrer is filed if the defense is confident that the prosecution’s evidence is weak. If granted, it has the same effect as acquittal. De Lima has been free since November 2023 after the same court granted her petition for bail.

De Lima secured her first drug acquittal in 2021, followed by another acquittal in 2023.

Aside from her drug cases, De Lima has also been cleared of her disobedience case. On Monday, De Lima was cleared by Quezon City RTC Branch 76. The court granted her petition for certiorari – used to review another court’s decision – against the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court, which earlier junked the former senator’s motion to dismiss the disobedience cases. De Lima is now free of all her cases.

International support

“We welcome the news that all cases against Leila de Lima have been dismissed. The United States supports rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms around the world,” US ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said in a statement.

European Union ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron said he “shared the joy” of De Lima and her co-accused who were cleared of their charges. Veron called the acquittal “a victory for justice.”

Canadian Embassy to the Philippines also showed support for De Lima, adding that “transparency, evidence, and independence of the judiciary are essential to our democratic systems of justice.”

Aside from these countries, members of the diplomatic corps from Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and France also issued statements in support of the former president Rodrigo Duterte’s nemesis.

Even under detention, De Lima received massive foreign support as she faced the cases filed during the tenure of her nemesis. In several occasions, members of the diplomatic corps visited De Lima in detention, with some even observing the hearings of her cases.

When De Lima was placed under police custody, some US Senators authored a resolution, which condemned her arrest. The same resolution also denounced Duterte’s drug war and the harassment of media in the Philippines, particularly of Nobel Peace prize laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. European Union lawmakers has also repeatedly urged the government to free the former senator.

When President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was elected in office, EU officials urged the president to address drug war abuses and De Lima’s case, or lose the Philippines’ Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) privileges. Under the GSP+, the EU removes import duties from products from developing countries which are entering the EU market, like the Philippines. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.