The resolution also adopted amendments introduced by US Sen. Benjamin Cardin that involved the call for US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to government officials responsible for “orchestrating” De Lima’s arrest and prolonged detention.
AP/Bullit Marquez, File
US Senate panel backs calls to free De Lima
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A panel of the US Senate has unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution calling on the Philippine government to release Sen. Leila de Lima, who they believe was illegally detained, and drop the “politically motivated” charges against her.

The US Senate foreign relations committee approved last Dec. 11 Senate Resolution 142, which also calls for the removal of all restrictions on her personal life and her work as a senator.

The resolution also adopted amendments introduced by US Sen. Benjamin Cardin that involved the call for US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to government officials responsible for “orchestrating” De Lima’s arrest and prolonged detention.

It also underscored the need to apply the same sanctions against members of security forces and Philippine officials responsible for extrajudicial killings in the country.

In filing the resolution last April 4, Republican senators Marco Rubio and Marsha Blackburn and Democrats Edward Markey, Richard Durbin and Chris Coons referred to De Lima as a “prisoner of conscience, detained solely on account of her political views and the legitimate exercise of her freedom of expression.”

The number of co-sponsors increased to 12. Rubio and Markey, of different parties, are the main authors.

Cardin, with the late senator John McCain, authored the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Sections 1261-1265, Subtitle F of Title XII of Public Law 114-328), which was signed into law on Dec. 23, 2016.

The law allows the US president to block or revoke US visas and to freeze US-based property and interests in property of foreign persons who have engaged in extrajudicial killings or other rights abuses, as well as government officials who are engaged in or responsible for significant acts of corruption.

               

LEILA DE LIMA US SENATE
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