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US Senate panel OKs ban on PHL execs involved in De Lima detention

A Senate committee in the United States has approved an amendment in one of the bills it is tackling to prohibit the entry of any Philippine government official involved in the imprisonment of Senator Leila de Lima.

In a Twitter post, US Senator Dick Durbin lauded the appropriations committee for passing the amendment he introduced together with Senator Patrick Leahy.

“Good to see the Senate Appropriations Committee pass my amendment with @SenatorLeahy today to prohibit entry to any Philippine Government Officials involved in the politically motivated imprisonment of Filipina Senator Leila de Lima in 2017. We must #FreeLeilaNow,” Durbin tweeted.

Durbin was one of the five US senators who earlier filed a resolution in the US Senate condemning De Lima's continued detention. The others were Senators Marco Rubio, Ed Markey, Marsha Blackburn, and Chris Coons.

De Lima has been detained since February 2017 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison during her term as justice secretary.

The opposition senator has denied involvement in the illegal drug trade, saying the charges against her were part of political persecution by the Duterte administration.

De Lima, who also once headed the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), is a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody war on illegal drugs. —KBK, GMA News