Palace: Up to Biden to heed US senators' call to condemn PH drug war, attacks vs. critics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2) — Malacañang says it is leaving it to US President Joe Biden to decide how to respond to the call of some American senators urging his administration to condemn alleged human rights abuses in the Philippines.

"Amerikano po 'yan. In the same way na ayaw nating may maghihimasok sa gawain ng Kongreso ng Pilipinas, hindi po namin sila paghihimasukan," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a televised briefing on Monday.

[Translation: They are Americans. In the same way we don't want anybody interfering with the Philippine Congress's actions, we will not interfere with theirs.]

In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dated July 26, ten American senators urged the Biden administration to condemn "at the highest levels" the "continuing pattern of human rights violations" under President Rodrigo Duterte's government.

Among the instances they cited were the chief executive's bloody war on drugs and attacks on the press, political opponents and human rights advocates mentioning in particular the detainment of Sen. Leila De Lima, the targeting of journalist Maria Ressa, and the closure of ABS-CBN broadcast network after the denial of a new franchise.

"'Yan naman po ay personal na mga pananaw ng sampung senador na Amerikano. Bahala na po sila ano gagawin nila," said Roque.

[Translation: Those are personal views of the ten American senators. It's up to them what they will do.]