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Duterte’s Ban on US Lawmakers Will Not Stop Criticism of Rights Abuses - Senator Markey

© AP Photo / Eugene HoshikoPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the special session of the International Conference on "The Future of Asia" Friday, May 31, 2019, in Tokyo
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the special session of the International Conference on The Future of Asia Friday, May 31, 2019, in Tokyo - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator Edward Markey has said the Philippine government’s decision to prohibit him from entering the country will fail to silence criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte’s repressive policies.

Markey became the third US lawmaker banned from the Philippines. Duterte’s office last week said it banned US senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy who also have been publicly supportive of jailed lawmaker Leila de Lima.

"President Duterte is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues", Markey said in a statement. "I stand with the people of the Philippines… against the strongman tactics of the Duterte government".

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2019, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he addresses the topic of land reform in Manila, Philippines - Sputnik International
Duterte Denies 2 US Senators Entry Over Support of Jailed Philippine Lawmaker De Lima
The Duterte government last week also threatened restrictions on all Americans travelling to the Philippines, Markey’s office said in the statement. US politicians have publicly slammed de Lima’s arrest.

The former justice secretary has been an outspoken critic of the deaths incurred during Duterte's anti-drug campaign and was arrested over allegations she received bribes from imprisoned drug lords during her incumbency. She is not eligible for bail, and if convicted on all counts, faces life imprisonment. Her trial is still ongoing.

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