By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

Former Senator Leila de Lima (File photo)

MANILA – The United States and several foreign missions in the Philippines have welcomed the acquittal of former Senator Leila de Lima on the final criminal charge against her.

In a statement dated June 24, the State Department said the US remains committed to working with the Philippines to strengthen democracy and human rights around the world.

“We continue to urge the Philippines to resolve politically motivated cases, including those against journalists and civil society, in a manner consistent with its international human rights obligations and commitments,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

In a separate post on X, Australian Ambassador HK Yu said Canberra was “pleased” to see De Lima cleared of all charges.

“Australia’s pleased to see Atty. Leila De Lima and her co-defendants cleared of all charges. I’m grateful to have met this strong and courageous woman. Australia continues to support the rule of law and respect for human rights,” she said.

Canadian Ambassador David Hartman, elated by the news, underscored that “transparency, evidence, and independence of the judiciary are essential” to democratic systems of justice.

German Ambassador Andreas Pfaffernoschke, meanwhile, said this development signals a “significant victory for justice and rule of law”.

“Grateful that she can continue her vital work in advocating for truth and justice. I urge the government to quickly resolve all cases of EJK and bring perpetrators to justice,” he said over X.

The Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 on Monday dismissed De Lima’s conspiracy to commit a drug trading case for failure of the prosecution to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Branch 206 presiding judge Gener Gito granted De Lima’s demurrer to evidence and likewise cleared co-accused former Bureau of Corrections director Franklin Bucayu, the former lawmaker’s former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, and former aides Joenel Sanchez and Jad Dera. (PNA)