Sotto, Lacson, Honasan seek Senate rebuke of US lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III and senators Panfilo Lacson and Gregorio Honasan II filed a resolution, seeking the rebuke of United States lawmakers for “interfering” with the Philippine judicial processes.

The 3 allied senators filed Senate Resolution 1037 on Wednesday, April 10, after US solons’ proposed House Resolution 233 and Senate Resolution 142, calling for the dropping of all charges against detained Senator Leila de Lima and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

The 3 senators said the resolutions of US lawmakers “can be considered an interference and intervention on a purely domestic matter.”

“As it is hereby resolved, to direct as it hereby directs, the Philippine Senate to rebuke the proposed US Congress’ resolutions condemning the government of the Philippines….for undermining the independence of the Philippine government and being an undue interference to the sovereignty of our nation,” the resolution read.

Sotto, Lacson, and Honasan said De Lima, despite being in jail, is still allowed to function as a senator. De Lima is in jail for alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

“While she cannot participate in person in the deliberations of the Senate and vote on certain measures, she has filed bills and resolutions which were read and made part of the record of the Senate,” they said.

As for Ressa and Rappler, the senators claimed that the charges against them are for supposed violation of certain Philippine laws, and not because of their critical stance towards the administration.

“Ressa was even allowed to post bail on these cases to debunk the allegations that these were politically motivated cases,” the senators said.

Rappler is currently facing a total of 11 investigations, complaints, and cases against the company, its executives, and former researcher.

The charges include alleged violation of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012), RA 8424 (National Internal Revenue Code as amended), and Commonwealth Act 108 as amended (Anti-Dummy Law of the Philippines). – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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