02.18.21

Senator Markey, Durbin, And Leahy Urge Full Exoneration And Release Of Senator Leila De Lima, Who Remains Unjustly Detained In The Philippines

Washington (February 18, 2021) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) top Democrat on the East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), released the following statement regarding the acquittal of Senator Leila de Lima in one of three bogus charges filed against her by the Government of the Philippines. Senator de Lima has been unjustly detained for four years next week on politically-motivated charges, widely condemned by human rights organizations and governments around the world as an illegitimate response meant to punish her for criticizing the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

“While we are pleased that one of the three illegitimate charges against Senator De Lima has been dropped, it is clearly not enough.” said the Senators. “The Duterte administration has wrongfully detained Senator De Lima for four years under false charges because she is willing to speak out and stand up to the egregious abuses of the government. President Duterte has tried to silence his critics and the independent press through false and politically motivated charges, but his disdain for human rights, free speech, and democracy is on clear display to the world. We will continue to hold the Duterte government responsible for its abuses until Senator De Lima is released, all of the fabricated charges against her and other prisoners of conscience are dismissed, and the victims of President Duterte’s campaign of abuse against the Filipino people have obtained justice.”

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