Palace advises EU lawmakers to 'respect' De Lima incarceration


Posted at Mar 16 2017 01:28 PM

Malacañang on Thursday advised the European Parliament to "respect" the detention of Senator Leila De Lima, amid a pending measure to discuss the incarceration of the embattled lady senator.

The Palace's comment came a day after 7 members of the European Union's legislative body filed a motion calling for a resolution from the European Parliament to decry the detention of De Lima and condemn all acts of violence, intimidation, arbitrary detention and convictions against critics of the Philippine government.

"They simply seem to have a misunderstanding of what is happening to De Lima. The lady is being charged with crime, not political persuasions. I think they ought to respect that," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella told Palace reporters.

The European parliamentarians' motion to free De Lima was filed two weeks after the president of an international federation of liberal political parties wrote a letter to the legislative body raising concerns about the "deteriorating human rights situation" in the Philippines.

De Lima was placed under detention in February for her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) illegal drug trade.

Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo earlier said De Lima was paying a "karmic debt."

"She should accept reality and the truth that she created the rut she is now in. She is paying a karmic debt," he said.

De Lima has repeatedly denied ties to illegal drugs and said charges against her were politically motivated.