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European Parliament subcommittee on human rights have urged authorities to allow detained Senator Leila de Lima to participate in the voting on legislative proposals.

Representatives from the European Parliament subcommittee on human rights have urged authorities to allow detained Senator Leila de Lima to participate in the voting on legislative proposals.
This, they said, would allow De Lima, who is presently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame over drug-related charges, to “fulfill” her duties.
“MEPs (members of the European Parliament) called on the authorities of the Philippines to guarantee a fair trial to the Senator and let her fulfill a senator's duties including voting in the Senate,” said a press statement issued after the delegation’s visit to De Lima on Wednesday.
The delegation was led by four members of the subcommittee on human rights, Soraya Post, Adam Kósa, Josef Weidenholzer, and Rikke Karlsson.
De Lima had earlier appealed to Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to support her request for occasional furlough to be able to vote on “crucial landmark legislations.”
Pimentel had dismissed De Lima’s plea as “propaganda.” He said Senate rules state that only those physically present in plenary sessions are allowed to interpellate and vote on proposed legislation.
De Lima was arrested in February over allegations that she profited from the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary during her term as Justice secretary. The senator has repeatedly denied this allegation, saying she is a victim of political persecution.
Meanwhile, the MEPs also expressed concern about the “high number of extrajudicial killings” as a consequence of the Duterte government’s war on drugs.
“The delegation strongly encouraged the government to identify cases of drug-related arrests where they could put in place an independent investigation mechanism, and to include this issue in the National Monitoring Mechanism in order to put an end to impunity,” they said.
The delegation also met with Pimentel to discuss legislative proposals that would lower the age of criminal responsibility for children from 15 years old to nine, and restore the death penalty.
The House of Representatives has already approved the revival of the death penalty, but the counterpart measure remains pending at the Senate. Meanwhile, a House panel has maintained the minimum age of criminal responsibility at 15. — RSJ/KVD, GMA News

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