Palace to US senators: Look into De Lima, Ressa cases with ‘cautious discernment’
MANILA, Philippines — The U.S. Senate panel who passed a resolution calling for the release of detained Senator Leila De Lima and the dropping of the charges against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa should look into their cases not with “jaundiced eyes,” but with “objectivity and cautious discernment,” Malacañang said Saturday.
In a statement released Saturday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo added that U.S. Senate Resolution 142 was passed by U.S. senators as they “based their conclusion on the situation in our country, which have absolutely no basis in fact nor in law.”
“We call on these U.S. senators to remove the blinders in their eyes and look at the De Lima and Ressa cases not with jaundiced eyes but with studied objectivity and cautious discernment,” Panelo said
“They should respect the judicial processes of our country in the same manner we respect theirs,” he added.
In the resolution, which was passed by the U.S. Senate’s foreign relations committee, it condemned the Philippine government for the continued detention of De Lima and called for her “immediate release.”
The resolution also condemned the “harassment, arrest, and unjustified judicial proceedings against the media and journalists, in particular, the proceeding against Rappler and Maria Ressa.”
Panelo also called the resolution as a “brazen and heedless affront” not only by the Philippine government but to the country’s sovereignty as well.
“It is an undisguised and outrageous intrusion to a sovereign state. There can be no excuse for the US Senate Committee not to know that the Philippines has long ceased to be a colony of the United States,” the presidential spokesperson said.
He also reiterated that the charges against De Lima and Ressa have nothing to do with their political views against the current administration.
“The record shows that no one has been hailed to court on account of one’s exercise of the freedom of the speech and of the press,” he said.
And while Panelo said that the government respects the US Senate as an institution, he added: “We, however, will not allow our sovereignty trampled upon by a few of their members.”
“We hope that probing and educated minds will ultimately prevail and that such misguided and intrusive act shall not tarnish nor diminish the warm relations between our two countries,” Panelo said.
Edited by MUF
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