US Sen. Markey to Duterte: Travel ban won't silence me
Malacañang confirmed that Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey has joined fellow Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy, authors of the entry ban amendment, in the list of American lawmakers barred from entering the Philippines.
US Sen. Ed Markey website

US Sen. Markey to Duterte: Travel ban won't silence me

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - January 3, 2020 - 9:41am

MANILA, Philippines — US Sen. Edward Markey (Massachusetts) said that the Philippine government’s travel ban against him for voicing support to Sen. Leila De Lima will not silence him.

In a statement, Markey said: “President [Rodrigo] Duterte is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues.”

Markey is the third American senator that the Philippine government banned from entering the country.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Markey was included in the ban for supporting the travel restriction against officials involved in the detention of De Lima.

Amid the travel ban, Markey remains unfazed and pointed out that Duterte “has already failed to silence Sen. De Lima, Maria Ressa and others in his country who have spoken truth to power.”

“I stand with the people of the Philippines with my state’s vibrant Filipino-American community in fighting for the highest democratic ideals and against the strongman tactics of the Duterte government,” he added.

Ban vs Durbin, Leahy

Duterte earlier ordered a ban on Philippine soil against US Sens. Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Patrick Leahy (Vermont), who proposed the amendment to deny officials implicated in the detention of De Lima of entry to the United States.

Last December, US President Donald Trump approved the passage of the US 2020 budget bill that included the provision, which touches on Financial Management and Budget Transparency.

The budget contains an amendment that authorizes US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to prohibit individuals behind De Lima’s detention from entering the US.

A provision on “Prohibition on Entry” allows the secretary of state to deny US entry to officials involved in De Lima’s detention “based on credible information,” as well as apply the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act by imposing sanctions on individuals tagged in human rights violations, including freezing their US assets.

US resolution for De Lima, Ressa

Markey is also one of the five senators who filed a bipartisan resolution highlighting human rights concerns in the Philippines and urging the Duterte administration to respect freedom of expression.

He was joined by Sens. Durbin, Marco Rubio (Florida), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) and Chris Coons (Delaware).

They filed a resolution specifically raising the cases of De Lima and Ressa, Rappler CEO and veteran journalist who faces a string of legal suits. They called De Lima a “prisoner of conscience” in detention “solely on account of her political views and legitimate exercise of her freedom of expression.”

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