EU delegates visit De Lima at Camp Crame detention

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — A 12-member delegation from the European Union (EU) visited Sen. Leila de Lima at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center inside Camp Crame Wednesday afternoon.

The group was led by four members of the EU parliament and part of the subcommittee on human rights.

Their visit lasted for about an hour and a half.

Soraya Post, a member of the EU parliament from Sweden, said De Lima looked "very good and strong" despite being detained for almost five months.

"We discussed her situation and she didn't complain of the police in her detention," Post said in an interview.

"But she says that she would love to go to her family and she also would love to go to her work, to vote in the Senate," she added.

In a dispatch from Camp Crame, de Lima thanked the EU group who visited her, saying they looked into her condition as a "prisoner of conscience".

"I personally thanked the MEPs for expressing indignation and serious concerns over my arrest during their plenary session in Strasbourg, France last March. They stood firm in saying that the charges filed against me were fabricated and subsequently called for my immediate release through their European Parliament (EP) Resolution," she said.

The senator also said she had  discussed the human rights situation in the country with the EU.

De Lima was detained last February due to allegations of involvement in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison during her time as Justice secretary.

In March 2017, the European Parliament approved a joint resolution calling for the lawmaker's release.

The joint resolution also called for a fair trial and adequate security for De Lima, even as they pushed for the dismissal of the charges against her since they believed these were "politically motivated."

In May, the Philippine government announced it would no longer accept P250 million Euros worth of grants from the EU to prevent the bloc from meddling in the country's  internal affairs. Malacanang later clarified it was only refusing aid with "strings attached".