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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Philippines, the case of senator Leila M. de Lima

14.3.2017 - (2017/2597(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Monica Macovei, Jana Žitňanská, Raffaele Fitto, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Valdemar Tomaševski, Angel Dzhambazki, Branislav Škripek, Ruža Tomašić on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0193/2017

Postupak : 2017/2597(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the Philippines, the case of senator Leila M. de Lima


The European Parliament,


-   having regard to its previous resolutions on the Philippines,

-  having regard to the status of the Philippines as a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

-   having regard to the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

-   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

-   having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.   whereas in August 2016 Senator Leila M. de Lima, former Chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights and former Justice Secretary, led an investigation by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights into the killings of thousands of alleged drug users and drug dealers after Duterte took office; whereas she was removed as chair of the committee on 19 September 2016;

B.  whereas after the hearings she was exposed to a torrent of harassment and intimidation from the president and other government officials;

C.  whereas on 24 February 2017 De Lima was arrested, being accused of accepting money from jailed drug lords and allowing a convict to run a drug operation from behind bars;

D.  whereas the Department of Justice filed three cases against De Lima for violation of Sections 5 and 28 of the Dangerous Drugs Act; whereas section 5 penalizes the "sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs," while Section 28 imposes maximum penalties of government officials found guilty of the unlawful act;

E.  whereas at the same time drug charges against five New Bilibid Prison inmates had been dismissed because “they will be utilized as prosecution witnesses”;

F.  whereas at her press conference, De Lima said the issuance of the warrant against her was "questionable" but that she had no plans to evade charges and she would face them head on;

G.  whereas president Rodrigo Duterte is committed to end all levels of drug crime across the country; whereas since the start of his war on drug trade in July 2016 more than 7,000 people have been killed; whereas De Lima has been one of the most vocal critics on the crackdown;

F.  whereas De Lima investigated Duterte - then mayor of Davao City - over unexplained deaths during his anti-crime campaign, at the time she served as chair of the Commission on Human Rights between 2008-2010;



1.   Expresses its deep concern at the intimidation and arrest of Senator Leila de Lima; calls on the government to ensure a fair trial, to drop any politically motivated charges and to stop any further harassment against her;

2.  Notes with concern the statements of officials from the Philippine government, alluding to the Senator’s guilt; calls on the government to restrain from prejudging the outcome of the trial, in line with the right to presumption of innocence;

3  Welcomes the government’s intention to reduce the high levels of crime in the country; is however deeply worried at the rigorous and non-transparent way this policy is carried out, including the silencing of critical voices and recalls the need for ensuring a proper and thorough investigation of all cases of extrajudicial killings and not to hamper current investigations;

4.  Urges the authorities to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines;

5.  Calls on the EU to closely monitor the case against De Lima and urges the EU to use all available instruments to assist the Government of the Philippines in respecting its international human rights obligations, notably through the Framework Agreement;

6.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service, the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Philippines and the Governments and Parliaments of the ASEAN member states.