Karapatan welcomes Atty. Leila De Lima’s assignment to DOJ post

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the appointment of Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima to the post of Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s cabinet.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez lauded CHR Chairperson De Lima for showing heart and sympathy for the victims of human rights violations, and for doing her best to maintain the INDEPENDENCE of the Commission despite being appointed by outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. “We hope that as DOJ Chief, Atty. De Lima will continue asserting the same level of independence as she did while she was in the CHR, refusing to be bullied into subservience and exercising the Commission’s mandate with integrity and courage, ” Hilao-Enriquez said. 

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Enriquez also encouraged de Lima to continue to be a genuine instrument of justice for thousands of victims of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, illegal arrest, torture and other human rights violations perpetrated under the Arroyo regime. “Some of the previous heads of the DOJ became mouthpieces of the government and turned it into an agency which attempted to cover up the atrocities of the reigning administration.  It even spearheaded the filing of trumped-up charges against activists and civil libertarians, earning it the monicker, ‘Department of Injustice’,” Enriquez said.

 

“We are certain that Atty. De Lima will make a difference in the DOJ and be a catalyst in resolving human rights violations in the country,” added Enriquez.

Karapatan also reiterates its appeal to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to make good his promise to prosecute the crimes of the past administration especially cases of human rights violations like killings and enforced disappearances, grave crimes against humanity that must be prosecuted so that the nation can start to stop impunity.###

 

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