Palace dismisses US senators’ call vs Duterte admin: It’s up to Joe Biden
MANILA, Philippines — “Bahala na sila (It’s up to them).”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had this to say on Monday as he brushed aside calls of several American senators for US President Joe Biden to condemn the “pattern” of abuses under the Duterte administration.
Roque made the remark after 11 US Democrat senators urged the Biden administration to condemn “at the highest levels” the alleged “continuing pattern of human rights violations” under Duterte.
The matters should be left for Biden to handle, said Roque.
“We leave that decision to President Joe Biden. Amerikano po ‘yan. In that same way na ayaw nating may nanghihimasok sa gawain ng Kongreso ng Pilipinas, hindi natin sila paghihimasukan,” he said in a press briefing.
“’Yan naman ay personal na mga pananaw ng mga senador na Amerikano. Bahala na sila kung anong gagawin nila,” he added.
In a letter addressed to US State Secretary Antony Blinken, the senators raised concerns over the human rights situation in the Philippines and posed a series of questions related to the Biden administration’s policies towards the Philippines and the current administration.
The senators, led by Senator Ed Markey, who chairs the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, pointed out that maintaining a bilateral relationship with a long-standing ally like the Philippines “requires upholding shared values” such as the protection of human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and “vibrant” democratic governance.
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