US Senator Edward J. Markey expressed his strong concern over the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima this Friday morning, February 24. In his official statement also released that day, the Democrat senator from Massachusetts also criticized President Rodrigo Duterte on his intensified war against illegal drugs, and dealing with his critics.
“I am deeply concerned about the arrest of Senator de Lima, a prominent opposition leader and critic of President Duterte. Since taking office in June 2016, President Duterte has led a so-called ‘war on drugs’ that is nothing more than a campaign of mass atrocities thinly disguised as a response to a public health emergency.” Senator Markey said.
“Senator de Lima has shown great courage and integrity in challenging President Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign and urging the Philippine Senate to investigate his involvement in extra-judicial killings.” He added, noting that Sen. De Lima’s arrest is politically motivated, and an attempt to silence the critics of the Duterte administration.
Must Read: * Sen De Lima Says President Duterte Got Panic After Senate Approves Lascanas Probe, Sen Lacson Reacts
“Prosecutions of political opponents have no place in a democracy, and her case must be handled with the utmost transparency and absolute respect for due process and the rule of law. I will continue to follow the situation in the Philippines closely and to speak out for democracy, human rights, and justice.” Sen. Markey said further on his remarks vs Duterte.
Apparently, this is not the first time that Sen. Markey voiced out his concerns over President Duterte’s leadership. Late December last year, he, and fellow US senators Marco Rubio and Chris Coons wrote a joint letter to United States State Department assistant secretary William Brownfield, questioning the US aid to the Philippine government.
“While supporting law enforcement in foreign countries can be a key element of advancing US interests overseas, recipients of our financial assistance must align with our values and ideals, including respect for human rights and the rule of law,” the letter reads, as the three senators described Duterte’s war on drugs as “campaign of mass atrocities.”
Dapat Panoorin: * Sen Leila de Lima sa Kanyang Unang Linggo ng Pagkakakulong, “Alam ng Diyos Ang Totoo, Inosente Ako”
“The Philippine anti-drug movement known as Project Tokhang in fact appears to be a campaign of mass atrocities thinly disguised as a response to public health emergency…While the use of law enforcement can help monitor and control illegal drug sales and consumption, extrajudicial killings are not a form of justice.” They said at that time.