Last night 27 Members of Parliament and the House of Lords across the political parties signed the attached letter to the Philippines Embassy in London calling for the immediate release of Senator De Lima.
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
1 March, 2021
H.E. Antonio M. Lagdameo
Ambassdor, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines to the UK
We, the undersigned UK Parliamentarians, are writing to mark the fourth anniversary of
Senator Leila De Lima’s unjust imprisonment in the Philippines and to call on the relevant
authorities for her immediate release.
On 24 February 2017, shortly after initiating a Senate investigation into extra-judicial killings
in the Philippines, Senator Leila De Lima was suddenly arrested and jailed on unbailable
charges for supposed links to drugs gangs. Four years later she is still being held in Camp
Crame detention centre.
President Duterte’s self-styled “war on drugs” has seen an estimated 30,000 extra-judicial
killings – along with the increased targeting of journalists and human rights defenders, and
the undermining of judicial independence.
Senator De Lima’s prosecution appears to have set the pattern for the silencing of President
Duterte’s opponents, in which either trumped up criminal charges or false accusations of
involvement in terrorism are brought against them.
As you will know, Senator De Lima is a professor of law and has served as a Senator of the
Philippines since 2016. She was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as
Chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights in May 2008 until June 2010,
when she was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III as the Philippines’ Secretary of
Justice. In May 2018, Amnesty International Philippines conferred on Senator De Lima its
first ever “Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender” award.
As Senator de Lima enters the fifth year of her incarceration we add to calls made by many
others for her immediate release and an end to the continuing erosion of democratic freedoms
in the Philippines.
We look forward to hearing from you further to the above.
The Rt Hon Dame Diana Johnson MP – Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Tonia Antoniazzi MP
Harriett Baldwin MP
Paul Blomfield MP
Tracy Brabin MP
Lyn Brown MP
Dawn Butler MP
Rosie Cooper MP
The Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
John Cryer MP
Judith Cummins MP
Rosie Duffield MP
Clive Efford MP
Margaret Ferrier MP
Andrew Gwynne MP
Meg Hillier MP
Barbara Keeley MP
Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Tony Lloyd MP
Marie Rimmer MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Lord Navnit Dholakia
Baroness Frances D’Souza
Lord Alf Dubs
Baroness Gloria Hooper
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate
Baroness Vivien Stern