United States Senators Ben Cardin (Democrat) and Marco Rubio (Republican) filed “The Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotic Acts of 2017” that would restrict the exportation of certain defense articles by the US to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The bipartisan measure also seeks to authorize a US$50-million funding for the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development to promote a public health approach to substance abuse.
The funding also seeks to extend support to Filipino human rights defenders, help victims of human rights violations, respond to human rights emergencies, and promote and encourage the rule of law through support for non-government organizations.
This proposed measure in the US Senate was welcomed by detained Senator Leila de Lima.
“I support the bipartisan efforts in the US Senate to introduce such important piece of legislation to hold our law enforcement authorities accountable to the thousands of human rights violations committed under the all-out war on drugs,” she said in a release.
“Every day, our people are living in fear that they or someone close to them might fall victim to extrajudicial killings under legitimate operations on the war on drugs, and this legislation can hopefully put an end to this national nightmare,” she added.
“This is a vital step forward in ensuring that the rule of law and respect to human rights prevail in modern democracies, such as the Philippines. We cannot allow the state to oppress its critics and from using arms to curtail our fundamental rights,” she said. “Under our modern democracy, it is important and necessary that governments around the world impose strict measures against arms and weapons from falling in the hands of unscrupulous individuals, especially among rogue law officers.”
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