Press Release
May 4, 2022

De Lima welcomes US Senators's renewed call for her release, dropping of charges vs her

Re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima welcomed the recent statement by six US Senators renewing their call for her immediate release and dropping of trumped-up drug charges against her following the recantation by key witnesses of allegations made against her.

De Lima thanked US Senators Marco Rubio, Ed Markey, Dick Durbin, Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons and Patrick Leahy for consistently vouching for her innocence and renewing their call for her release.

"The recent development on my case, along with the unwavering trust and faith in me of prominent leaders and co-justice warriors, further bolsters my determination to fight against the lies and see this battle to end in freedom and vindication," she said.

"After two witnesses recanted their allegations against me, it is clearer now that the charges against me are politically motivated, obviously invented by the Duterte machine of lies. I thank US Senators Marco Rubio, Ed Markey, Dick Durbin, Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons and Patrick Leahy, for acknowledging the truth and staying consistent in demanding justice for me," she added.

In a joint statement released last May 3, the six US senators stressed that the recent recanting by key witnesses of allegations made against De Lima "warrant her immediate release."

"Clearly, the bogus charges against her were, as we suspected all along, politically-motivated and based on false information," they said.

It can be recalled that Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, in his affidavit, retracted his previous statements, affidavits, and court testimonies that he delivered money to De Lima and her former aide Ronnie Dayan.

Prior to Ragos's retraction, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa also recanted all of his allegations against De Lima in relation to illegal drug trade.

In the same statement, the US Senators stressed that the fact the De Lima "has lost five years in jail due to these spurious charges is a travesty," adding that "she should be released immediately and any remaining charges should be dropped without further delay."

In 2019, Rubio Senators and Markey filed a bipartisan resolution, logged as Senate Resolution No. 142, calling for her immediate release from wrongful imprisonment and invoking Global Magnitsky sanctions against her persecutors. It was supported by Senators Durbin, Blackburn and Coons.

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