Saturday, December 14, 2019

US Senate resolution vs De Lima detention tramples on sovereignty — Palace

Malacañang on Saturday expressed its “grave concern” on a recently approved United States Senate resolution that calls for the release of detained Sen. Leila de Lima.

There can be no excuse for the US Senate Committee not to know that the Philippines has long ceased to be a colony of the United States,” read the post of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson on Facebook.

Senate Resolution 142, entitled “Condemning the Government of the Philippines for its continued detention of Senator Leila De Lima, calling for her immediate release, and for other purposes” earlier this week was unanimously ordered to be reported with amendments favorably by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “[T]he Senate condemns the Government of the Philippines for the arrest and detention of human rights defenders and political leaders who exercise their rights to freedom of expression...and the continued detention of Senator Leila De Lima,” read the resolution submitted to the committee in April.

“While we continue to respect the US Senate as an institution, we however will not allow our sovereignty trampled upon by a few of their members.
However, the Palace said that, contrary to the committee’s findings that the law was being weaponized in the Philippines to suppress media and rights groups, De Lima and Ressa faced “criminal prosecution for transgression of Philippine laws.” “They were accorded procedural due process in all stages of their criminal prosecution.

“Intrusion on the sovereign rights of independent countries is abhorrent in civilised societies and anathema to international order,” the statement read.

They continue to avail of all available legal remedies for their defense,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.