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Aguirre: IPU free to check on Leila

Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has welcomed the decision of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to come to the Philippines and check on detained Senator Leila de Lima.

“I welcome the announcement of the International Parliamentary Union to come here,” said the Secretary and visit for themselves, see for themselves kung totoo ‘yung mga sinasabing extrajudicial killing “

The IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians issued a decision dated April 5 stating that “it is crucial that this delegation meet with the relevant parliamentary, executive and judicial authorities and Senator De Lima and her lawyers.”

It conveyed that it is “deeply concerned about Senator De Lima’s arrest, detention and the accusations levied against her” and that it “fails to understand how the accusations against her make sense, given that she has been the one taking action against the alleged drug trafficking in NBP (New Bilibid Prison).”

De Lima, one of the most vocal critics of President Duterte and the extrajudicial killings taking place on the war against narcotics, has been detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame on drug charges related to her alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drugs trade at the NBP.

The IPU pointed out that “there is serious reason to believe that she is targeted due to her outspoken criticism of the impact of the current government policies on human rights in the Philippines.”

Aguirre expressed confidence that the IPU delegation would see for themselves the actual situation in the country.

“She is not a political prisoner. As a matter of fact, makikita naman ninyo that there is no political persecution or political aspect dun sa ginawang pag demanda sa kanya,” he explained.

Also, Aguirre said that the IPU delegation would “see for themselves kung totoo ’yung mga sinasabing extrajudicial killing (if the extrajudicial killings are true).” (Jeffrey G. Damicog)