Re-elected US senator assures De Lima of continued support

Published February 1, 2021, 1:27 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

A senator in the United States Senate has assured his continued support for detained Senator Leila de Lima.

Senator Leila de Lima

Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, who earlier branded De Lima’s detention as “unjust and politically-motivated”, said he will never stop supporting the Duterte critic’s fight for human rights in the Philippines.

Durbin’s vow of support to De Lima, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration, comes after the senator extended on Twitter her congratulations to Durbin  and fellow Senator Patrick Leahy for securing top positions in the US Senate.

“Thank you (Sen. De Lima)…and as the four year anniversary of your unjust and politically-motivated arrest approaches, I want to assure you that I will never stop supporting your fight for human rights in the Philippines,” Durbin tweeted.

De Lima has been detained since February 23, 2017 over what she claimed as “trumped-up” drug charges filed against her by the Duterte government.

Durbin, Leahy and US Senator Edward Markey were earlier ordered banned from entering the Philippines following their repeated calls for De Lima’s release.

The American senators had earlier introduced an amendment to the 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which sought to prohibit the entry into the US of all Philippine officials proven to be behind the former justice secretary’s “wrongful imprisonment.”

Then US President Donald Trump signed the 2020 national budget, which included the said provision.