Tag Archives: Senator De Lima

[From the web] De Lima on mass testing for COVID-19: What is taking us so long?

DOJ Sec. Leila De Lima File photo: pinoymagazine.com

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima slams health authorities for delaying the implementation of national testing for COVID-19 even after admitting that they are in possession of thousands of test kits, both purchased and received from foreign donors.

De Lima also joins the calls of several groups and personalities who are petitioning the government to immediately start mass testing in highly-populated areas, especially to cities or municipalities with widespread poverty and vulnerable societies.

“Ilan pa ba sa ating mga kababayan – mga health workers, frontliners, PUIs, PUMs, at mamamayang bulnerable, gaya ng mga matatanda at may malulubhang karamdaman – ang mamamatay na lamang bago pa matiyak na may COVID-19 sila at mabigyan ng karampatang gamutan?” she asks.

“Kailan pa natin masisiguro ang kaligtasan ng lahat mula sa posibleng pagkakahawa sa mga hindi nagpapakita ng sintomas, ngunit nagdadala ng virus? Kailan pa ba natin balak kumilos, kapag madami na ang namatay?” she added.

Scientists, health groups, youth organizations, politicians and prominent personalities, among others, have raised concerns on why the Department of Health (DOH) has repeatedly downplayed the importance of widespread testing.

Even the World Health Organization have repeatedly urged countries to “test, test, test”, emphasizing the need of a clearer picture of the extent of the pandemic in the country for a more focused response to mitigate the virus’ effects.

The health department also claimed that they are still waiting for the accreditation of more laboratories capable of testing multiple samples at a time, across the country.

“Day by day, we learn that the total no. of confirmed cases reportedly increases, yet we cannot be certain of the accuracy of these figures. Even DOH Secretary Duque admitted that they could be missing half of the actual totality of COVID-19 cases in the country,” De Lima said.

“It’s as if you are trying to conceal the real numbers – the question is why? To lessen the panic, or to feed your bruised ego?”, she added.

As of March 26, official numbers indicate that there are 707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, with 45 fatalities. However, experts believe that the estimates are not consistent with global data due to the limited number of tests conducted in the country.

Despite having announced that almost 7,000 persons are considered as PUIs (Persons under Investigation) and PUMs (Persons under Monitoring), the DOH have only conducted less than 2,000 tests.

“What is taking us so long? Figuring out how to conduct mass testing for its citizens should be high on the government’s priority list if we are to make it through this pandemic,” the lady Senator from Bicol said.

“The sooner we identify who are afflicted with this virus, the sooner we can isolate them and get them treated. Conversely, the more we wait the more resources we waste. The more resources we waste, the more people will be infected and inevitably die from this pandemic,” she added.

To address the gap, De Lima recommended that both the national government and local government units (LGU) should divide the responsibility of mass testing, indicating that most local officials are capable and willing to shoulder the burden.

“The local government can do preliminary testing while the national government reserves the right to undertake final confirmatory tests. In doing so, the whole of government will be able to perform their duties in harmony,” she said.

“I strongly urge the DOH to strongly consider issuing temporary accreditation credentials and grant them limited testing capabilities. This will not only decongest other accredited laboratories to screen tests but will speed up the release of results and cover the bigger population waiting to get tested,” she added.

After the announcement of the lockdown, initially in the National Capital Region and later the whole island of Luzon, citizens have observed that local officials outshined their national counterparts in implementing measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The DOH also received backlash after reports exposed that high-ranking government officials who requested for COVID-19 testing were granted preferential treatment, while other patients with much severe symptoms, were left for weeks on a waiting list.

De Lima on mass testing for COVID-19: What is taking us so long?

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[In the news] De Lima lauds House for approving bill that will protect human rights defenders -Manila Bulletin

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Friday lauded leaders of the House of Representatives for approving on third and final reading the measure seeking to provide protection to human rights defenders (HRDs) who have always been facing serious threats, intimidation, and harassment.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, at the same time, vowed to refile the measure in the Senate since the Senate committee on justice and human rights, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, failed to act on the counterpart bill.

“In the coming 18th Congress, I am re-filing the human rights defenders’ protection bill and I hope my colleagues, especially Sen. Gordon, will take a harder look at how HRDs have become more vulnerable to harassment these days,” de Lima said in a statement.

Click the link to read more:

https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/06/07/de-lima-lauds-house-for-approving-bill-that-will-protect-human-rights-defenders/?fbclid=IwAR2pCJORuKRznJgzWkLkRmjVMo8BFSjZ_zpoBMiyCcx8XwcakSHc1qkeUkg

 

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[People] “No mother should bury her child.” -Sen. Leila de Lima

This is what every mother fears. Sadly, under this tyrannical Duterte regime and its failed War on Drugs, this is a tragic reality that thousands of mothers have gone through; a harrowing ordeal that they live with every day.

Global Health NOW’s article, “Elderly Mothers Bear the Emotional Burden of the Drug War” (6 June 2019), narrates the plight of 70-year-old Elvira Miranda and 60-year-old Carmelita Bajacan whose sons where shot and killed during an anti-drug police operation in Manila North Cemetery on August 3, 2017.

Almost two years have passed but, as Bianca Franco, a researcher at the Ateneo de Manila University who covered communities victimized by the drug war, aptly described it: “Their sons had been dead for a year or more, but these mothers wept like it happened yesterday.”

Bukod sa namamanglaw at nanghihinang katawan dahil sa kanilang edad, bukod sa pagdurusa at kalungkutang dala ng pagkamatay ng kanilang mga anak, naiwan sa mga tulad nina Ginang Elvira at Carmelita ang mabigat na pasaning arugain at itaguyod ang kinabukasan ng mga apong naulila ng kanilang mga magulang.

Sila po ay kabilang lamang sa libo-libong mga ina na hindi pa rin mapigil ang pagluha dahil sa malagim na trahedya, subalit kailangang maging matatag para sa pamilya at sa paghahanap ng hustisya. Bukod sa mga pinaslang ng karumal-dumal na War on Drugs ni Duterte, sila ang mukha ng mga biktima—mga itinuturing na “collateral damage” ng marahas na polisiyang maraming buhay ang sinayang at wala namang pinatunguhan.

Even when their children are laid to rest, these mothers’ pain will never truly disappear. They will never forget. Dadamdamin nila ang mapait na alaala hanggang sa kanilang huling hininga. They will continue to cry for justice for their sons, daughters, and even granchildren whose lives were cut short by an evil man who had the gall to play god.

Stop the killings! Justice for the victims!

Dispatch from Crame No. 530: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Reflection on “Elderly Mothers Bear the Emotional Burden of the Drug War”

6/9/19

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[Press Release] Broadcasting Misogyny and Abuse in Congress: A Mockery of (In) Justice KAISA KA Reacts to Hearings Probing De Lima Links to Drug Trade

Broadcasting Misogyny and Abuse in Congress: A Mockery of (In) Justice
KAISA KA Reacts to Hearings Probing De Lima Links to Drug Trade

Kaisa Ka bAs an organization of grassroots women who are believe that women must be empowered fully in order to harness our full potential towards nation-building, Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan or KAISA KA are deeply disturbed by what is the rise in rise of abusive behavior online and offline directed towards women.

The first, spilling out from well-oiled online machinery favoring the  Duterte administration, young women who were part of the recent anti-Marcos protests were subjected to unprecedented levels of bullying and even rape threats.

And the second, spearheaded by allies in Congress who have hijacked the purpose of Committee Hearings that was to probe De Lima’s links to the drug trade in aid of legislation into a venue to pry open, parade, prod and mock the private life of a lady senator whose only crime was to investigate the Davao Death Squad, during her stint in CHR and be critical of the ongoing drug campaign.

The recent hearings- shows the solons being “ charlatans”, “sexist” and “misogynists”, dwelling and playing on De Lima’s affair with Dayan.

Principled solons may have been able to block the showing of the alleged sex video of Senator De Lima, but just looked on as the line of questioning towards former bodyguard Ronie Dayan degenerated to a mockery of a hearing.

The law makers have now become the law breakers themselves using the venue to oppress and violate women. The human rights and women’s rights advocates in the Congress should have not allowed the “oppressive questioning” and “malicious innuendos” attack De Lima’s person.

End the Abuse and Violence
Three courageous Milabal sisters of the Dominican Republic who opposed then fascist Dictator General Rafael Turillo were assassinated in November 25, 1960 and in whose honor the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was declared back in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly.
Had De Lima been a man, it would have been entirely different, an exact opposite situation. All the more that we should be alarmed and oppose at all cost– this is state –initiated violence.

Let us remember that a violation done to one woman is a violation that can be done to all.

November 25, 2016
References: Atty. Virgie Suarez – 09088159923 / Chairperson KAISA KA

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[Statement] Imbistigahan ang Davao Death Squad! -iDEFEND

Imbistigahan ang Davao Death Squad!

Photo by PhilRights

Photo by PhilRights

Muling nabuhay sa kamalayan ng mamamayan ang Davao Death Squad (DDS) dulot ng ginawang testimonya ni Edgar Matobato sa katatapos na pagdinig ng Senado hinggil sa isyu ng extra-judicial killings. Pinangunahan ng Senate Committee on Justice and Human rights, idinetalye sa pagdinig ang partisipasyon ng anya’y dating miyembro ng naturang grupo.

Habang sinisiyasat pa ang mga pahayag, ang hindi kayang ipagkaila ay naging kilala ang Davao Death Squad mula sa dokumentasyon ng mga pandaigdigang grupo sa karapatang pantao sa panahong Mayor ng naturang bayan si Presidente Rodrigo Duterte.

Ayon sa ulat ng Commission on Human Rights at Human Rights Watch (HRW) na nasa 1,424 ang pinatay mula 1998 hanggang 2008 kasama mga babae at bata.

Maaalala na nuong panahon ng kampanya ay buong pagmamalaking sinabi ni Duterte na ang pinatay ng DDS ay nasa 1,700 (at dalawa di umano sa mga biktima ay sya mismo ang bumaril at pumatay ng nakaluhod na suspek na kidnaper) o higit sa rekord na inilabas ng HRW.

Hindi kayang itatwa na may naganap na mga pagpapatay (killings), mula sa testimonya ng mga biktima sa naturang monitoring groups at media. Lalong hindi mapagkakaila na may isang antas ng suporta ang lokal na pamahalaan nuon sa Davao maging ang mga pulis sa naturang ‘vigilante killings.’ Ito mismo ang pahayag ng UN General Assembly of the Human Rights Council nuong 2009.

Maging ang Office of the Ombudsman noong 2012 ay nagsuspinde ng 21 na mga pulis (mula police chief inspector to police senior superintendent) dahil sa ‘kapabayaan sa kanilang tungkulin’ (neglect of duty) dahil sa nakababahalang bilang ng kaso ng pagpatay (‘unusually high number of unsolved killings’) mula nuong 2005 -2008.[i]

Ang multong ito ay hindi lubusang malilibing hangga’t hindi tuluyang iniimbistigahan at nabibigyan ng hustisya ang mga biktima.

Proseso at Hindi Abuso

Kasabay ng pagbuhay sa isyu ng DDS ay nanariwa ang pangmatagalang implikasyon ng tumataas na bilang ng mga biktima ng nagpapatuloy na kampanya ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan laban sa droga at krimen. Nasa 3,140 (karamihan ay sa hanay ng maliliit at mahihirap) na ang patay ayon sa tala ng PNP.

Ang due process ay nananatili lamang para sa may-kaya at may-kapangyarihan.

Nagpapatuloy ang mga paglabag sa demokratikong karapatan ng mga mamamayan dahil sa implementasyon ng OPLAN DOUBLE BARREL. Lalong nakapag-aalala ang walang basehang pagdeklara ng State of National Emergency gayong ayon mismo sa PNP ay “merong 49% crime reduction” at mas ligtas at matiwasay na ang lipunan dahil sa sinasabing “tagumpay ng kasalukuyang giyera sa droga” at mga nagpapatuloy na peace talks sa mga armadong grupo.

Nangangailangang maging mapagbantay tayo para panghawakan ang ating demokratikong karapatan, at pangalagaan ang natitirang demokratikong espasyo upang tunay na makamit ang pagbabago para sa isang buhay na may dignidad para sa lahat.

Nararapat ding tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng mga testigo laban sa malawakang patayan, mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatan at tagapamuno sa imbestigayon. Hindi maaaring pahintulutan ang kampanya ng pagkutya, pagganti at paninira sa mga kritiko ng kampanya sa droga na patuloy na dumarami ang napapatay.

Karapatan ng mamamayang malaman ang puno’t dulo ng patayan upang tuluyan itong mapahinto.

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