The Palace on Sunday defended the Philippine National Police from criticisms for preventing the president of Liberal International from visiting detained Senator Leila de Lima.
“The Philippine National Police [PNP] has sufficiently explained its side on the issue,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement, on Liberal International president Juli Minoves not seeing De Lima.
“Our authorities are strictly following protocols in the PNP Custodial Center,” said Abella.
“It is unfortunate that the name of Mr. Juli Minoves, President of Liberal International, was not included in the list of approved visitors scheduled to see Senator Leila De Lima on that day,” said Abella.
“The companions of Mr. Minoves were allowed to enter the detention facility and see the good senator because their names were on the list,” said Abella. “©”©
“There is no need to add political color to an issue which has none,” said Abella.
Minoves’ companions, LI’s Human Rights Committee chair Markus Loening and Friedrich Naumann Foundation-Philippines president Wolfgang Heinze, were allowed to enter the Custodial Center and meet De Lima on Saturday.
Minoves said the police used an “administrative excuse” to prevent him from visiting the senator, who is detained on drug-related charges.
Minoves was denied entry by custodial center officers on Saturday due to conflicts in paperwork.
“We notified on Monday, so that is more than five days in advance of my coming here. They have used an administrative excuse that they cannot find the letter,” said a frustrated Minoves on Saturday.
He added that he was sent to talk “from one officer to the next” to no avail.
“Minoves was not included in the approved list by Chief PNP,” said Philippine National Police (PNP) Spokesperson Dionardo Carlos.
LI is a network of over a hundred liberal and democratic parties in the world.
Minoves, the former foreign minister of Andorra, said he was “very disappointed” by how Saturday’s events panned out.