A British citizen wrote an open letter addressed to U.S Senator Richard Durbin, who urged the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to release Senator Leila De Lima from detention.
In the open letter, Malcolm Conlan, who’s a known supporter of President Duterte, asked Durbin why the American politician is interfering with the justice system in the Philippines and insisting that De Lima should be released just because he believes she’s innocent.
“I am really surprised that you today called for the release of Sen Leila De Lima without even understanding the facts of the case?” Conlan said.
“How would you like it, if President Duterte called publicly for the release of an American Citizen, awaiting trial in the U.S,”
“Are you actually involved in the case of De Lima, have you suddenly become her legal defense or are you in any way involved in the Philippine Judiciary?”
“What right has an American politician got to interfere in the Philippine Justice system?”
Conlan explained to Durbin that De Lima was not detained because of being a critic of the administration because President Duterte has many political enemies who are still walking freely like Vice President Leni Robredo.
“She (Robredo) is one of the harshest critics of the President, yet she is free to speak publicly and hold as many press conferences as she likes without any hindrance,”
“Before being critical of the Philippine President and Philippine justice, I humbly suggest that you get your own house in order,”
The British supporter of the President then reminded Durbin that the Philippines is not a territory of America anymore.
“No longer is the Philippines a slave to America, the Philippines is now an independent sovereign nation, with her own laws, processes and Justice system.”
“With the greatest respect, Sen De Lima is not locked away in some darkened room with only bread and water, in fact she still has the freedom to speak to the outside world and if she wanted to explain her situation herself, she doesn’t need some Senator thousands of miles away to jump on the bandwagon and defend her, when in fact you don’t know the details of the pending case,”
A few days ago, Durbin in a speech on the US Senate floor urged the Philippines to give De Lima a “fair and credible” trial.
“There is an easy and honorable way forward. The Duterte regime should […] instead assure a quick and credible trial for Senator De Lima, or simply do the right thing and release her,” Durbin said.