09:37 GMT +321 January 2020
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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".

    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.

    criticism, policies, Rodrigo Duterte, Edward Markey, Philippines, United States
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