US Senator Edward Markey has a message to President Rodrigo Duterte after he was banned from visiting the Philippines after expressing support to Senator Leila De Lima and also to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.
In a statement, Markey said that the actions of Duterte cannot silence him and he would still express his support to the detained lady senator.
“President Duterte is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues,” said Markey who’s the third American Senator barred by the Duterte admin from visiting the Philippines.
According to Markey, President Duterte already failed to silence his top critics in the country that’s why he’s confident that the move of the Philippine government to hush him is not going to happen.
The American Senator also said that he’s going to support the people of the Philippines and also the Filipino-American community who are criticizing the policies of the Duterte administration.
“He has already failed to silence Senator De Lima, Maria Ressa, and others in his country who have spoken truth to power. I stand with the people of the Philippines and with my state’s vibrant Filipino-American community fighting for the highest democratic ideals and against the strongman tactics of the Duterte government,” he said.
The Palace announced that Markey is not allowed to visit the Philippines after he called for the release of Senator De Lima.
“Yes [the ban is extended] to Markey,” Panelo said.
Senators Markey, Richard Durbin, and Patrick Leahy are the American politicians barred from visiting the Philippines for sponsoring the US Senate resolution that called for the release of Senator De Lima who has been in detention since February 2017.
Other sponsors of the said resolution are Marco Rubio, Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons, Jeff Merkley, Tina Smith, Brian Schatz, Dianne Feinstein, and Benjamin Cardin, but the Palace didn’t mention if they’re also included in the entry-ban.
The Duterte government started to disallow De Lima’s American politician supporters from visiting the country after it was reported that US President Donald Trump signed his country’s 2020 budget which includes the entry-ban of government officials who were involved in the detention of the lady senator.