PNP holds off US lawmakers from visiting De Lima

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2022 05:41 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2022 08:18 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday prevented several US lawmakers from visiting former senator Leila de Lima, currently detained in the the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

The PNP Public Information Office told reporters it will issue a statement related to the matter.

The US delegation was led by Senator Edward Markey and included US Congressmen Alan Lowenthal, John Garamendi, Don Beyer, Congresswoman and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.

In a media advisory sent on Wednesday, the US delegation said the visit would discuss "the progress of the remaining cases filed against the former Senator, her current situation, and experiences in the more than five and a half years of her continued unjust detention."

On July 14, 2022, Pennsylvania Representative Susan Willd submitted before the US Congress an amendment to the US National Defense Authorization Act, which seeks to limit the United States’ security assistance to the PNP over human rights concerns.

In her proposal, the lawmaker from Pennsylvania said no funds should be given to the PNP unless the Philippine government acts on the alleged human rights abuses committed by the national police.

Detained since 2017, De Lima calls the drug charges against her “political persecution” allegedly spurred by her criticism of former President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics crackdown, which his administration denies. 

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson was part of the delegation. We regret the error. 

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