24 February 2017
The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima is the latest move in a persistent campaign of political harassment being waged against a duly elected member of Congress.
These efforts to smear Senator De Lima are a strong indication that the charges against her arise from a political agenda and are not the result of an independent, unbiased legal process. These efforts began soon after she launched an investigation into the issue of extra judicial killings under the present administration.
With contradicting testimonies from criminals as basis of the case, they circumvented due process to fast track the issuance of the arrest warrant.
Our history as a nation is marred by instances where government officials use the processes of criminal justice to cow, silence, and eliminate critics.
We cannot, and we must not, stand by and let this happen again. We must make sure that our government institutions remain uncorrupted and independent of each other, particularly when it comes to checks and balances in pursuit of accountability.
We believe that those who are accused of any crime must have their day in court, and have the right to a fair and unbiased trial.
We exhort the people to follow and scrutinize this case religiously.
Let us fight for the right to speak dissent, which is the foundation of our strength as a free and democratic nation.