MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman on Sunday criticized a U.S. lawmaker for making a “baseless” accusation of abuse within the case of a detained critic of the Filipino chief.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo was reacting to an announcement by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, who mentioned the detention of Philippine Senator Leila De Lima was a “wrongful imprisonment”.
Leahy made the remarks in an announcement he despatched to native community ABS-CBN Information on Friday, by which he criticized Panelo for saying Washington was interfering in Philippine affairs over a proposed journey ban in opposition to officers behind De Lima’s imprisonment.
De Lima, among the many largest critics of Duterte’s lethal anti-drugs crackdown, has been detained since 2017 on narcotics expenses.
A U.S. Senate invoice has been filed in search of to bar entry of Philippine officers discovered to be concerned in De Lima’s imprisonment.
“Yearly, america gives massive quantities of support to the Philippines, and I’ve supported that support,” Leahy was quoted by ABS-CBN Information as saying.
“I assume President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s spokesman who defended the wrongful imprisonment of Senator De Lima doesn’t take into account our support to be ‘interfering’ of their sovereignty,” Leahy mentioned.
Panelo mentioned Leahy’s assertion assumed the American lawmaker has adequate data of Philippine legal guidelines and had personally examined De Lima’s case.
Panelo additionally mentioned in an announcement Leahy had by no means visited the Philippines to personally study De Lima’s case.
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz. Modifying by Jane Merriman