In photo: Phelim Kine, Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch

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By Bernadette Pamintuan

DEPUTY Asia Director Phelim Kine of Human Rights Watch (HRW) demanded the reconsideration of Philippine legislators regarding Senator Leila De Lima’s dismissal from the Senate justice and human rights committee on Monday.

As an expert on human rights and issues such as military impunity and corruption, Kine argued in a press release yesterday that De Lima’s removal from the post demonstrated the current administration’s incapacity to respect the basic rights of the Filipinos.

De Lima was ousted on the account of 16 affirmative votes from the senators against four nay’s and two abstentions.

“The decision on Monday… is a craven and blatant move to derail accountability for the appalling death toll from President Duterte’s war on drugs,” he said.

The verdict to dismiss De Lima from the position followed Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s declaration to abrogate the chairmanship in the committee.

De Lima allegedly acquired a sum of Php 5 million from drug syndicates as accused by former NBI deputy director Rafael Ragos in a sworn affidavit.

Kine condemned the Senate’s seemingly abrupt judgment and labeled it as a way of “covering up allegations of state-sanctioned murder” of the administration.

HRW is a global organization dedicated in promoting basic human rights and justice through the aid of the international press.



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