MANILA — Malacanang on Wednesday condemned the ‘continued interference’ by the Human Rights Watch after it called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to drop all charges against Senator Leila de Lima.
“This recent call by the New York-based Human Rights Watch for the government to drop all charges against Senator Leila de Lima is nothing but sheer meddling with our country’s domestic affairs,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
De Lima was detained at Camp Crame on Feb. 24, 2017 for three separate drug cases filed by the Department of Justice.
“We condemn this continued interference not only because it misleads the public, but because it mocks the integrity of our justice system,” Roque said.
Roque said the arrest of De Lima has strictly followed legal procedures based on competent and independent court’s finding of probable cause.
“Senator De Lima is being portrayed as a prisoner of conscience, a so-called martyr for justice. She is none of these; she is facing charges of criminal in nature, plain and simple,” Roque said.
He appealed to allow the legal process to proceed accordingly since De Lima’s case is now pending before the Muntinlupa courts.
“It is unfortunate that HRW is that desperate to get some media mileage and public attention in the Philippines by beating a dead and decaying horse,” the Palace spokesman said.
“On the other hand, this is quite understandable considering that it is not getting any elsewhere in the world. In fact, it appears we’re the only country that remains tolerant of their sad existence,” he added. (PNA)