Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez met with US Sens. Dick Durbin and Edward Markey to discuss the cases of Sen. Leila de Lima and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.
Philippine Embassy in the USA/Released
Philippine envoy meets US senators calling for De Lima release
( - November 13, 2019 - 10:35am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez met with two US senators to discuss the case of detained Sen. Leila de Lima.

Romualdez met with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) upon the request of the latter.

Durbin and Markey are among the five US senators that earlier filed a resolution banning the entry of Philippine government officials involved in the detention of De Lima. The others were Marco Rubio (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE). 

The Philippine envoy and the two US senators also discussed the case of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, who is facing a string of charges including tax evasion and cyberlibel.

"The Ambassador (Romualdez) said he will continue to engage the senators on these issues and all aspects of PH-US relations," the Philippine Embassy in the US said in a tweet.

In September, a US panel approved a bill titled "Prohibition on Entry" which will apply to Philippine government officials involved in the "wrongful" imprisonment of De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

De Lima has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial center in Camp Crame since February 2017.

Malacañang, however, decried this US Senate resolution, accusing Washington of interference on the Philippines' sovereignty.

“It seeks to place pressure upon our independent institutions, thereby effectively interfering with our nation’s sovereignty,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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