Press Release
October 7, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 620:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on Ambassador Romualdez's silly conspiracy theory about HR groups lobbying in US Congress

In his latest newspaper column, Duterte Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel "Babes" Romualdez reported that so-called "intelligence" people are supposedly verifying reports about human rights groups or "certain groups using human rights advocates as fronts" in putting pressure on the US Congress.

I hope they're not implying that sinister forces are working on my behalf. Are they suggesting that my case or causes are now a national security concern of this tyrannical regime? Para namang wala silang alam sa kalakaran ng diplomatic at human rights community.

Ambassador Romualdez need not wait for confirmation from their "intel" people whether human rights are lobbying US Congress. Of course they are. And my situation is not their sole rallying point but the over-all human rights situation in our country. Only incompetent campaigners and networkers would not take the opportunity to seek the help of the most powerful nation to take a more proactive position on the killer regime Duterte has installed in the Philippines.

The Ambassador makes this sound all conspiratorial and cloak-and-daggerish maybe to justify his principal's billions in intel funds, but the fact is lobbying is the very reason for being of HR groups, their legitimate job description that is plastered all over their public websites. HR groups are not workers in the shadow as what the Ambassador is projecting them to be.

So for the benefit of Mr. Romualdez, yes there are HR advocates championing my causes not only in the US but also in the UN and in the EU. And what is wrong with that? What is wrong with various groups fulfilling their mandate and acting in solidarity with victims of persecution and human rights violations like myself? That is the very essence of HR advocacy. What is appalling is that a diplomat is insinuating skullduggery in what HR groups are doing in my defense.

The slow progress of my cases is not our chief complaint. Our core complaint is the very persecution being done to me due to Duterte's personal and political vendetta and the abuse of legal processes in aid of persecution. My human rights to dignity and due process have been blatantly violated. I have already been prosecuted, tried, and convicted by Duterte himself even before any legal investigation started and criminal charges filed.

Many personalities and groups all over the world clearly see the gross injustice done to me, hence, their solidarity with me. For failing to counter this solidarity campaign in the US Congress, Ambassador Romualdez throws up his hands, telling his boss there must be a super-duper top secret conspiracy that inexistent Philippine intelligence capability failed to detect, and that it was not his fault.

They should just drop this spy and conspiracy crap. Amazingly silly!

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