De Lima warns: Inaction a liability under int'l human rights law


Posted at Mar 24 2017 12:48 AM

MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday warned that under international human rights law, inaction on purported abuses is a liability.

De Lima issued the statement in her later handwritten letter from her detention cell in Camp Crame, where she is being held over drug-related charges.

"I hope they realize this liability for atrocities under international human rights law, including the Rome Statute, extends not only to the actual perpetrators or direct participants in such heinous acts, but also those who tolerate and condone them, more so incite and encourage them as well as those who do nothing about the prevalence of massive EJKs despite knowledge thereof," De Lima said in her letter.

Without identifying who the letter is for, De Lima commented on the alleged culture of impunity brought by purportedly unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings.

"Yes, failure to act, meaning, failure or refusal to investigate and prosecute, and worse do a cover-up such thru barefaced denials or half-baked, prematurely terminated probes, also gives rise to liability," she added.

De Lima also warned that the law will soon catch up with the alleged perpetrators of mass murders.

"Sooner or later, the long arm of the law, domestic or international, will catch up with the chief architect of the mass murders and his enforcers and cheerers," she said. "Stop cheering the madman!"

The incarcerated lawmaker made this statement amid reports of an impending case against President Rodrigo Duterte to be filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings related to the administration's war on drugs.

On Thursday early morning, De Lima became the subject of ridicule of the president's speech where the chief executive referred to her as thick-faced and queen of hell.

De Lima responded by saying she pities the president for "believing in his own lies."