MANILA -- A United States senator has reiterated his call for the release of detained Philippine Senator Leila de Lima.
During the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs hearing, Democrat Senator Dick Durbin asked United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power what can be done to help De Lima.
“Is there any more we can be doing to help her?” Durbin asked.
Power responded by saying that a new government provides a renewed opportunity for a diplomatic push urging for De Lima’s release. She also said she will follow up with any developments on the senator's case.
In 2020, Durbin, along with U.S. Senators Ed Markey, Marco Rubio, Marsha Blackburn, and Chris Coons led the passage of a resolution calling for De Lima's release.
De Lima, a vocal critic of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained for more than five years on drug charges.
Key witnesses against her, however, have been recanting their testimonies.
De Lima has moved to to dismiss 1 of her 2 pending drug cases. In February last year, a Muntinlupa court junked a third drug case against her.