Another US senator joins calls for De Lima’s urgent release
MANILA, Philippines — United States Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts echoed Friday his colleagues’ call for the immediate release of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, whom he said has been the “target of very troubling partisan persecution.”
Sen. de Lima has been the target of very troubling partisan persecution. In an attempt to intimidate and silence voices critical of the government, de Lima has been jailed and not given the opportunity to defend herself. The Duterte administration should release her immediately.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) October 3, 2019
In a tweet, the democrat lawmaker said De Lima has been jailed and not given the opportunity to defend herself “in an attempt to intimidate and silence voices critical of the government.”
“The Duterte administration should release her immediately,” he added.
Markey, along with fellow Democrats Chris Coons and Dick Durbin, and Republicans Marco Rubio and Marsha Blackburn earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 142 which calls for De Lima’s release.
Markey also backed Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy’s push for accountability in the Philippine government.
It was Durbin and Leahy who proposed to ban from American soil Philippine officials involved in the detention of De Lima. The US Senate Appropriations Committee approved such an amendment to the 2020 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo hit as “ignorant.”
De Lima is currently detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City for allegedly aiding the illegal drug trade during her term as a justice secretary in the previous administration. She repeatedly denied the charges, which, she said, are trumped-up and politically motivated. /kga
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