Multisectoral group 'stands united' behind De Lima

MANILA, Philippines – Groups from various sectors on Friday, February 17,  vowed to stand by Senator Leila de Lima as she faced drug charges filed by the Duterte administration. (READ: DOJ panel files drug charges vs De Lima)

The groups under the "One for Leila" movement pledged their support for the senator hours before 3 criminal complaints were filed against De Lima before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in connection with her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison drug trade when she was justice secretary.

"We stand united in support of Senator De Lima and her human rights advocacies. We urge the Filipino people to remain vigilant against the abuse of power by this administration, as fueled by one man’s caprices and personal vendetta," the groups said in their "Manifesto of Unity and Support" for De Lima.

"We believe that this is not just one woman’s fight, but a fight for democracy, justice, and rule of law," they added.

They condemned the then "imminent arrest" of De Lima as "another attempt to silence the fiercest critic of the Duterte administration."

"This is clearly in violation of the Constitution and due process given that the accusations against her are baseless," they said.

"The political persecution and harassment of Senator De Lima which include the trumped-up charges and fabricated lies against her, no matter how vicious and incessant, won’t still be enough to cover up for this administration’s failed war on drugs which has put the country in darkness and has taken more than 7,000 lives, including children and innocent civilians," they said.

The groups are the following: