California Congresswoman Jackie Speier has introduced a resolution condemning the continued detention of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, who was arrested over two years ago on allegations related to drug trafficking.
In a letter urging her colleagues to cosponsor the House Resolution 233, Speier said, ‘The charges against Senator de Lima have been widely repudiated by human rights groups, non-governmental organizations, parliamentary bodies, and others as retaliation for her continued criticism of extrajudicial killings and the Duterte regime’s anti-drug campaign.”
De Lima was arrested on drug-related charges for allegedly using her capacity as secretary of justice to take money from already imprisoned drug pushers, to allow them to still do business.
The evidence in her non-bailable arrest consisted of testimony of prison inmates, police officers and former prison officials.
HR 233, which already has five cosponsors, not only demands the immediate release of De Lima and for all charges against her be dropped. It also condemns what Speier calls state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, as well as the arrest and detention of human rights defenders.
The main proponents of HR-233 include Amnesty International, Filipino American Human Rights Alliance, ecumenical advocacy network on the Philippines, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and United Church of Christ San Mateo.
Joining us here in the BA studio is Ago Pedalizo, the San Francisco coordinator of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance or FAHRA — to talk more about community efforts to get HR-233 introduced.