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US senators not meddling, says De Lima

MANILA, Philippines –They’re not meddling but standing up for universal causes, detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima said of the five United States senators who filed a resolution last week seeking the dropping of charges against her and Maria Ressa, CEO of the online news site, Rappler.

The resolution, filed by Democrats Ed Markey, Chris Coons, and Dick Durbin, and Republicans Marco Rubio and Marsha Blackburn, also condemned the “state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings” in the country as part of the administration’s war on drugs.

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De Lima has been detained since February 2017 over drug trade allegations.

Malacañang accused the senators of intruding into the Philippines’ legal processes and interfering with the country’s sovereignty.

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But De Lima said the US senators were “speaking in behalf of all the unjustly treated human rights defenders in the Philippines.”

In a statement, De Lima added: “Instead of bewailing their alleged ‘meddling,’ those who negatively reacted to the US senators’ move should recognize that these foreign entities are simply advancing universal causes of justice, human rights and democracy.”

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, however, told the US senators to stay out of the country’s affairs.

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