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Monday, April 24, 2017

Palace hits Time for not clarifying why De Lima is in jail

By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / @NCorralesINQINQUIRER.net / 08:29 PM April 21, 2017

Malacañang scored Time Magazine on Friday for including Sen. Leila de Lima on its 100 Most Influential People list and yet failing to mention that she was detained for alleged involvement in illegal drugs trading.

Secretary Ernesto Abella said Time “conveniently failed” to include in the short profile of De Lima Lima that her detention was for her illegal drugs case and not for being a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In the case of Sen. De Lima, Time conveniently failed to clarify that she was jailed not for her criticisms against the administration but because an independent court found probable cause in support of the criminal charges against her for alleged violation of the law on illegal drugs,” Abella said in a statement.

De Lima was is listed under Icons category, while President Rodrigo Duterte, whose bloody war on drugs had become controversial, was listed as among the most influential Leaders.

The profile for De Lima was written by Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the United Nations. Powers described De Lima as “Duterte’s most vocal critic – a role her friends call suicidal.”

“Last August de Lima convened a hearing on Duterte’s drug-war killings, featuring devastating testimony from a former hit man. Duterte allies stripped de Lima of her Justice Committee chair. In February she was jailed,” Power wrote.

She said De Lima’s imprisonment was a “disturbing testament to the current solidarity among strongmen and the global surge in impunity.”

While Malacanang hit the magazine’s portryal of De Lima, Abella hailed Duterte’s inclusion.

”The fact remains that President Duterte is supported by majority of the Filipinos in his campaign against illegal hard drugs, crime and corruption,” he said.

Duterte’s profile was written by Cesar Gaviria, former president of Colombia, who compared his failed drug war to Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.

“When I was President of Colombia, I was also seduced into taking a tough stance on drugs,” Gaviria said. “But after spending billions, I discovered that the war was unwinnable and the human costs were devastating. The cure was infinitely worse than the disease.”

He urged Duterte to forget his bloody strategy and “start by treating drugs as a health, human rights and development issue.”

Duterte earlier called Gaviria an “idiot” for meddling in his war on drugs. /atm


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