Free de Lima and all political prisoners
Human rights groups called for the immediate release of Sen. Leila de Lima after two key witnesses, Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa and Rafael Ragos, withdrew their testimonies which implicated the senator in the illegal drug trade. They also called for the release of others like her who have been incarcerated on trumped up criminal charges.
In his signed media statement last April 28, Espinosa admitted that his testimony against de Lima given during two Senate investigations in 2016 are all false. It was a result of harassment, intimidation and serious threats against his and his family’s lives.
On May 2, Rafael Ragos, former officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections, likewise said that there was no truth that de Lima was involved in the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison. In front of the press, Ragos divulged that he was coerced by then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to testify against de Lima. He said Aguirre interrogated, forced and threatened him to admit to things which did not happen.
These latest developments only proved that the case against de Lima is political vendetta as she has been critical of the Duterte regime’s war on drugs, critics of the said war said. People responsible for her unjust detention and violations of her rights should be made accountable, they said.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Duterte admitted that his promise to solve the drug problem within six months of his term was nothing but “campaign hubris.”