Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday welcomed the appeal of US Senators John McCain and Benjamin Cardin for President Donald Trump to reaffirm their country’s commitment to human rights at home and abroad.
De Lima thanked the senators for addressing the deteriorating human rights situation across the world, including the wave of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“I thank the two good senators for boldly raising the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law while other public officials choose to be mum on the matter,” De Lima, who has been given international recognition as a human rights defender, said in a statement from her detention quarters in Camp Crame.
As the world marked the 69th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights early this month, McCain and Cardin wrote a letter to Trump expressing concern over his administration’s apparent failure to reaffirm the country’s pledge to uphold human rights.
The senators criticized their country’s silence on international human rights, which they said was “strikingly apparent” during Trump’s recent trip to Asia.
“Our delegation failed to raise major human rights concerns or name dissidents who languish in dark prisons across the region for no other reason than their brave defense of democracy and human rights,” they said.