Labor groups under the Nagkaisa labor coalition condemn the attempt to hostage former senator Leila De Lima, and the stabbing of Police Corporal Roger Agustin who was delivering food at the time of the incident.
We are thankful that De Lima was unharmed following a foiled attempt to hold her hostage by some detainees at the Camp Crame Custodial Center of the PNP.
Senator De Lima is now more than five and a half year in detention for trumped-up charges, thus, we reiterate our call for her freedom.
Senators together with other parliamentarians around the world also seek the release of former Senator De Lima from the PNP custodial center. In a Senate Resolution, De Lima was described as "a renowned and fearless human rights lawyer and advocate" who was elected Senator of the 17th and 18th Congresses (2016-2022) and "one of the staunchest voices in the human rights and social justice fronts."
In view of the latest incident, we are asking the DOJ panel who prosecutes De Lima to withdraw its opposition to the motion filed by the lawyer of Rafael Ragos to suppress and expunge all his previous affidavits in light of his recantation.
It is timely and appropriate in this time of transition to emphasize the commitment to uphold the rule of law and uphold human rights. President Marcos can rectify the injustice done to Senator De Lima by the previous administration by expediting her release from detention.
The recantation of at least three (3) witnesses of their testimonies outside or in court at the near or end part of the Duterte administration is a clear warning that there is something wrong. This is a red flag that casts doubt on the strength of the finding of probable cause against Sen. De Lima.
The DOJ prosecution panel is not merely there to convict, neither merely act as a case-processor. Its primary duty also includes to protect the innocent or act as a problem-solver responsible for considering broad goals of the criminal justice system under the rule of law.
We urge the immediate release of former Sen. Leila De Lima and all political prisoners. Her freedom would be a manifestation that the new administration gives primacy to the rule of law and acts to remedy the blatant abuse of power of the previous administration against their political opponents. <p> </p>