Locsin calls ‘idiotic’ US Senate panel’s resolution vs PH officials

Mara Cepeda
Locsin calls ‘idiotic’ US Senate panel’s resolution vs PH officials
The Philippines' top diplomat cites the 'separation of powers and the independence of nations' as he hits the US foreign relations committee resolution citing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr slammed as “idiotic” the resolution of a United States Senate committee calling for sanctions against Philippine government officials behind extrajudicial killings and Senator Leila de Lima’s detention.

Citing the separation of powers and the independence of nations, the Philippines’ top diplomat criticized on Sunday, December 15, Resolution No. 142 recently passed by the US Senate foreign relations committee. 

“Idiotic. Even a Philippine Senate resolution is not one of the ways of ending a criminal trial; there’s only acquittal or conviction or dismissal by a demurrer to evidence,” said Locsin.

“But a US Senate resolution? Aside from separation of powers there’s the independence of nations,” added the Secretary of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.  

 

Resolution 142, passed by the US Senate committee on Wednesday, December 11, invokes the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. It calls for a travel ban to the US and the freezing of assets of Philippine government officials who are responsible for the extrajudicial killings and the prolonged detention of De Lima, who is in jail over alleged multiple drug charges. (READ: Dela Rosa says no word yet from U.S. on supposed visa cancellation)

The resolution also urged the Philippine government to stop the harassment and drop all charges against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

It was penned by US Senators Edward Markey (Massachusetts), Marco Rubio (Florida), Richard Durbin (Illinois), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), and Chris Coons (Delaware) in April.

Salvador Panelo, spokesperson of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, claimed the US Senate foreign relations panel was allegedly “misled” by the opposition and “media outlets [that have] been biased against the administration.”

But De Lima, in a dispatch sent to the media from her jail cell in Camp Crame, said the Presidential Spokesperson’s allegations was “laughable.” 

Conservatively, more than 6,000 people have been killed in police anti-drug operations under the war on drugs, the centerpiece of Duterte’s government. 

But human rights groups estimate the numbers could reach almost 27,000 to include victims of vigilante-style killings– Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.