The Philippines Government on Friday told the European Parliament to “mind their own business” after it called for the release of President Rodrigo Duterte’s top critic detained on illegal drug charges.
The European Parliament on Thursday issued a joint motion for resolution calling for the immediate release of Sen. Leila De-Lima, who has been detained at the national police headquarters since her arrest on Feb. 24.
It also called on Philippine authorities to ensure a fair trial for De Lima and to “drop all politically motivated charges against her and to end any further acts of harassment against her.’’
Presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo denounced the European Parliament’s call as “interference.’’
“They cannot dictate on the Philippine government on what to do with its constituents facing criminal charges nor can they interfere with the judicial processes of our country,’’ Panelo said.
“Neither can they demand our government the performance of an act, that is foreign interference they should mind their own business, ’’ he added.
The charges against De-Lima were based on allegations by national penitentiary inmates that they paid millions of pesos to her when she was justice minister to allow them to continue trading drugs in prison.
Bail is not allowed for such charges.
She has denounced the charges as “plain and simple political persecution’’ for her opposition to Duterte’s drug war, which has left thousands of people dead amid police operations and alleged extrajudicial killings.