US senator calls for De Lima's release


Posted at Sep 22 2019 11:36 AM | Updated as of Sep 22 2019 01:30 PM

MANILA -- US Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has urged the Philippine government to free Sen. Leila de Lima from detention based on what he called "bogus charges."

"I call on the Philippine government to unconditionally release her #FreeLeilaNow #ExpressionNOTOppression," Sen. Marco Rubio said in a tweet Saturday.

In April, Rubio was among five US senators who called for De Lima's release and the dropping of charges against news website Rappler and its chief Maria Ressa.

A month earlier, six US lawmakers also filed a resolution calling for the Philippine senator's release.

De Lima, a fierce critic of the administration's bloody anti-narcotics campaign, has been detained since February 2017 for allegedly pocketing drug payoffs from convicted crime lords at the national penitentiary when she was still justice secretary. She denied wrongdoing.