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Umepal na naman kayo! Palace slams HRW over call to free De Lima


Malacañang has scored the New York-based Human Rights Watch for renewing its call for the government to drop all charges against Senator Leila De Lima, close to one year since she was jailed.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called HRW’s appeal “nothing but sheer meddling with our country’s domestic affairs.”

“We condemn this continued interference not only because it misleads the public, but because it mocks the integrity of our justice system,” he said.

Roque said De Lima is far from being the “prisoner of conscience” and “martyr for justice” that human rights groups make her out to be. He added that the government followed legal procedures in arresting and detaining the senator.

“Senator De Lima’s case is now pending before the local court. Let us allow the legal process to proceed accordingly,” Roque said.

De Lima was arrested on February last year over drug-related charges. She is accused of conniving with inmates at the New Bilibid Prison to allow the drug trade to flourish.

Roque said it was unfortunate that HRW is reviving its call for De Lima to be freed just to get media attention.

“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 said.