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Senate President tells US senators to back off PH internal affairs

Senate President tells US senators to mind their own business
By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday bridled at the United States senators for supposedly meddling in the Philippines’ affairs in appealing to drop the charges against Senator Leila de Lima and journalist Maria Ressa.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III gestures after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sotto took to Twitter to react to a resolution filed by US senators condemning the killings and alleged human rights violations under the Duterte administration, and calling the arrests of De Lima and Ressa as “unconscionable”.

He tagged Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the five lawmakers behind the resolution. The other senators were Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons, Richard Durbin, and Edward Markey.

“To our US counterparts — ‘mind your own business, scratch your own galis (scabies)’ that’s what my kalaro (playmate) says when I was young,” the Senate chief posted.

Sotto said the senators were “obviously” interfering with the country’s domestic affairs while he doubted that US would heed should the Philippine senators do the same.

“Ano tayo, commonwealth pa nila? Ni hindi nila alam ang background ng judiciary natin. Eh kung mag-file kami ng reso[lution] asking them to release a suspect, payag sila?” Sotto said in a text message when sought to further comment.

(Are we still under their commonwealth? They don’t even know the background of our judiciary. What if we file a resolution asking them to release a suspect, would they agree?)

“They should learn to respect our Constitution as we respect theirs. Parang hindi mga senador (They’re acting like they’re not senators),” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson had also slammed the US senators’ move.

“A Ph[ilippine] Senate resolution is appropriate to call out these five US senators. We are not their colony,” Lacson wrote in his Twitter post Sunday.

“We have a Constitution that provides for three co-equal branches and a judicial system where due process is followed, regardless of its flaws and weaknesses,” he added.

Lacson, in a response to a netizen, said it would bring “more shame” to the Philippines to follow the US senators’ “arrogant display of colonialism towards an ally.”

Sotto said he would “definitely” support the passage of a resolution calling out the five US senators.

On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the US senators’ resolution as an “outrageous interference with our nation’s sovereignty.”

Senate President tells US senators to back off PH internal affairs Senate President tells US senators to back off PH internal affairs Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 6:12:00 PM Rating: 5

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