Senator Leila M. de Lima has thanked the Australian delegation for their concern over her plight after visiting her office at the Senate and meeting with her staff members to inquire about her condition as a political prisoner under the present administration.
De Lima said she is grateful for the continued support she receives from the international community, including the Australian government, despite the ridiculous lies and incredulous accusations brought up against her by the vindictive Duterte regime.
“I am extremely thankful to the delegation of the Australian government for checking on my condition and inquiring how I continue to exercise my legislative mandate as a duly elected Senator despite being in detention for more than two years now,” she said.
“The support I receive from the international community further bolstered my courage not to waver in my fight against injustice and the breakdown of rule of law in my own country as it reminded me that the world has always been watching,” she added.
Last October 1, a delegation of the Australian Government, led by Hon. Trevor Evans, a Federal Member for Brisbane, visited De Lima’s Senate office where they met with De Lima’s Chief of Staff, Atty. Fhillip Sawali, and other staff members.
Other Australian visitors include Talitha Try (Senior Adviser, Office of the Australian Prime Minister); Kerrie Kahlon (State Organizer, Australian Labor Party); Jessica Wright (Senior Consultant, Liberal Party of Australia); Reuben Ray (Adviser, Office of Australian Senator Jenny McAllister); and Jon Krause MP (Member for Scenic Rim, Queensland Parliament).
Sawali briefed the Australian visitors about De Lima’s political persecution and how she continues to perform her duties as a legislator despite her continued unjust detention.
It may be recalled that last February, the Australian Parliament has adopted the motion of Chris Hayes, an influential member of the Australian Parliament, expressing deep concern over the worsening plight of De Lima.
Hayes, a member of the Australian Labor Party who described De Lima as “a notable critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of extrajudicial killing” urged the Philippine government to free De Lima from her detention and allow her to properly continue her work as a senator.
Aside from allowing De Lima to properly perform her duties as a Senator of the Republic, Hayes also urged the Philippine government to ensure that De Lima’s right to a fair trial is not violated at all costs.
Roughly three months after, Australian lawyer Mark Trowell sent a communication to the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 to allow him as a trial observer to attend the resumption of the hearing on De Lima’s trumped-up drug case set last May 3.
The scheduled hearing was called off on short notice, and Trowell was unable to observe the trial.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration’s war on drugs, was illegally detained for more than two years now based on bizarre charges that were mostly based on perjured testimonies of convicted criminals and manufactured evidence.