Target: Jose Calida, Solicitor General of the Philippines
Goal: Drop allegedly politically motivated charges against Senator Leila De Lima.
In the Philippines, a critic of President Duterte has been arrested and accused of taking bribes from drug dealers. Senator Leila De Lima, who has been an outspoken critic of President Duterte since his tenure as mayor of Davao, is being held at the headquarters of the Philippines National Police. She has spoken out against President Duterte’s war on drugs, which has left over 7000 people dead, many allegedly at the hands of the police. She has called on the international community to intervene to halt the abuses. President Duterte has publicly vowed to ‘destroy her in public,’ promised she would ‘rot in jail,’ and claimed to possess sex tapes featuring the senator.
Previously, as the chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Senator De Lima opened hearings exposing harassment, intimidation, and abuse aimed at her by officials including the president. However, senators close to the president removed her from the committee’s leadership and ended the hearings. Despite mounting testimony directly linking President Duterte to alleged extrajudicial killings by police in Davao, the president has faced little investigation. Sign our petition and call on the solicitor general of the Philippines to dismiss the charges against Senator Leila De Lima.
Dear Solicitor General Calida,
I was shocked to hear of the arrest of Senator Leila De Lima on charges of taking bribes from drug dealers. As you know, Senator De Lima has been subject to a campaign of intimidation and abuse from officials including President Duterte due to her outspoken opposition to the ongoing war on drugs. Whatever one’s opinion of the war on drugs, as a senator and, previously, as the leader of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, it was her responsibility to investigate abuses. However, her attempts to investigate alleged abuses and expose harassment have been obstructed at every stage.
President Duterte has made multiple statements about Senator Leila De Lima including threats to ‘lock her up’ and ‘destroy her in public.’ I believe these statements prove that these charges are politically motivated. I urge you to drop the charges against Senator De Lima and allow her to go free pending a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation of these allegations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Keith Kristoffer Bacongco