Minority senators protest 'solitary confinement' of De Lima in Camp Crame

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Senators in the minority bloc are protesting the supposed solitary confinement of opposition Senator Leila de Lima since April 25 in Camp Crame due to quarantine measures being implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippine National Police and De Lima’s camp have yet to comment on the issue.

Senators Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros wrote last Saturday to Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa, saying that De Lima’s alleged incommunicado detention is illegal and unconstitutional.

“We are bringing this to your attention for the necessary remedial action that you may deem appropriate under the circumstances,” the three senators said in their letter.

They pointed out that solitary confinement is prohibited under the 1987 Constitution, which states that "secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited." According to Amnesty International, incommunicado means being detained without access to family or lawyer.

"This action of the PNP Custodial Center is unconstitutional, illegal, and violates a cardinal precept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that solitary confinement and incommunicado detention are universally outlawed," the senators stated.

De Lima has been under detention in Camp Crame in Quezon City for over three years now on drug charges, which she said are trumped up.