By Mario Casayuran
The opposition Liberal Party (LP) showed on Friday its support for the move of the United States Senate to propose a travel ban to the US of Philippine officials involved in the ‘’unjust and arbitrary detention’’ of Senator Leila de Lima.
‘’We do not consider the US Senate’s action as an interference in the affairs of a sovereign state. Human beings everywhere — regardless of ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, or gender — must speak out against mass murder,’’ Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, LP president, said.
‘’We welcome this move of the US senators, an act of solidarity not only for Senator Leila de Lima, but for all the murdered victims, and their orphans, widows, and mothers and fathers, who are now doubly burdened by the absence of a loved one and in many, many cases a family breadwinner,’’ he stressed.
Pangilinan said Senator de Lima stood up against the ‘’mass murder of our people — as we all should.’’
‘’She is being unlawfully detained — for almost 1,000 days now — for speaking out against the killings of poor, powerless Filipino citizens in the Administration’s so-called war on drugs,’’ he added.
Pangilinan said the LP was encouraged that a growing number of world leaders recognize the unjust detention of Senator Leila De Lima for fighting for the lives of our people.
‘’This US Senate action, as well as the Iceland UN resolution, shows that we are not alone in this fight,’’ he stressed.
Recent calls by some US legislators to deny US sales of firearms to the Philippines over human rights issues against Philippine President Duterte led the Philippine President to look for firearms purchases in China and Russia.
This slow foreign policy shift of the President from the US as its traditional partner and ally to China and Russia has unnerved American foreign policy think tanks and planners.
President Duterte will return to Russia on invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Malacanang spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President’s departure date may be in the first week of October.