By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima denounced on Thursdaythe reported prohibition for families of political prisoners from visiting their loved ones at their detention quarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, especially during this Yuletide season.
With the unjustified visitation ban, de Lima, said the Duterte administration has reached another low.
The lady senator from the Bicol region is under detention at Camp Crame, Quezon City for alleged illegal drugs-related charges.
De Lima condemned the blatant violation of the rights of the Persons Deprived of Liberty [PDLs].
‘’The timing of this latest harassment couldn’t be any worse, considering the Christmas season,” she said in her detention cell at Camp Crame.
“Why are the jailers acting like Scrooges? Pati ba naman ang sariling pamilya, ipagkakait pa sa mga bilanggong pulitikal ngayong kapaskuhan? Ano na naman ang palusot na ibibigay nila sa lantarang panggigipit na ito?” she asked. (Why is the administration banning the visit of the families of political prisoners during the Christmas season? What is the meaning of this?).
Kapatid, a human rights group working towards attaining freedom for political prisoners and gathering support for them, recently condemned the plight of families and friends of political prisoners denied of their rights to visit their loved ones in detention.
De Lima cited a particular case of Fides Lim, the wife of political prisoner Vic Ladlad who is detained at MMDJ-4, Bicutan, who claimed to have been banned by authorities to visit her husband ahead of Christmas day, last Dec. 22.
“I protest why I am not being allowed right now to visit my husband to bring him food and medicines. I have been here for hours now at Gate 1. The guards at the gate led by a Major Pascua said he is just following orders not to allow me in,” part of Lim’s Facebook post read.
While President Duterte has declared a ceasefire with the rebels, de Lima lamented how he continues to order the security forces to silence his critics and deprive them of the remaining rights they have under detention.