Robredo, Aquino call for De Lima release on 1,000th day of detention

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MANILA, philippines — Hundreds of people united in protesting Senator Leila de Lima’ continued detention. She has been detained for 1,000 days Wednesday.

In a statement, Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino III led more than 300 leaders and organizations around the world to withdraw “politically-motivated charges” against De Lima, who is facing charges for allegedly dispersing drugs at New Bilibid Prison.

“We condemn the wrongful and indefinite incarceration of Sen. Leila M. de Lima, which has been extended and used by suspicious inmates’ testimony,” said in a joint statement.

“Dahil kahina-hinala ang mga kaso laban kay De Lima at paglabag sa kanyang mga karapatan, hinihiling namin sa Gobyerno ng Pilipinas na agad na palayain [siya], at ibasura ang mga reklamo sa kanya.”

With the exception of Robredo and Aquino, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan, and former Sens. Paulo Benigno A. Aquino IV, Antonio Trillanes IV, Mar Roxas, Rene Saguisag and Sergio OsmeƱa.

Citing the findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, they also argued that his incarceration was caused by his fight against human rights abuses.

They also watched President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies continue to beat him, using “verbal assault, sexist tirade, false information” and “hate speech.”

If the senate were to be released immediately, the government could “hope that the Philippines can join the world in defense of freedom and human rights.”

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