US Senator who defends De Lima mentions America’s aid to Philippines: “Our aid is not a blank check, we have a responsibility to respond”

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US Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the lawmakers of America who proposed to block Filipino government officials involved in the detention of Senator Leila De Lima criticized Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

In a statement, Leahy argued that they have the “responsibility to respond” on the alleged maltreatment to Senator Leila De Lima because their country is giving a large amount of aid to the Philippines.

“Every year, the United States provides large amounts of aid to the Philippines, and I have supported that aid. I assume President Duterte’s spokesman who defended the wrongful detention of Senator De Lima does not consider our aid to be ‘interfering’ in their sovereignty,” Leachy said.

“Our aid is not a blank check, and when Philippine officials misuse the justice system for the purpose of political retribution, we have a responsibility to respond,” he added.

Leahy is proposing to block Filipino officials from entering the United States of America if they’re involved in the detention of Senator Leila De Lima, a critic of the current administration.

The US Senate Appropriations Committee passed the said amendment which criticized by the Palace.

According to Panelo, the move of the US Senators are a “brazen attempt” to interfere with the Philippines affairs.

“It treats our country as an inferior state unqualified to run its own affairs. All sensible Filipinos, regardless of their political or social association, should feel affronted and disrespected by this act,” Panelo said.

Several politicians like Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Ping Lacson also questioned the move of the Leahy.

Meanwhile, opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan welcomed the move of Leahy, insisting that the US lawmaker is not interfering with the affairs of the Philippine government.

 

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