Sotto rebukes US senators for using aid to ‘pull strings’ to interfere in Philippine internal affairs

Sotto rebukes US senators for using aid to ‘pull strings’ to interfere in Philippine internal affairs

Senate President Vicente Sotto III is not taking this issue sitting down.
He calls out US senator Patrick Leahy for making the US aid to the Philippines his reason for “mentoring” the Philippines how to implement its own justice system.

“May I echo the sentiment that the time for the United States to pull strings attached to their offer of financial aid is long gone,” Sotto said.
Senate President Tito Sotto III
(photo credit to owner)

Sotto was quoted saying that such move by the US senators as a “racist” act, slamming US Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy, who proposed the travel ban, for meddling and acting “like judges” in the Philippines.
“Mentoring us in the ways of democracy and due process smacks of racism and superiority complex. We are no longer the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The Commodore Deweys of today can no longer bully and deceive the Filipino. Natuto na tayo (We have learned our lesson),” Sotto said.
Leahy, was quoted as regards to the US aid  to the Philippines is the justifying reason for their act in tryig to prohibit Philippine officials going to the US, most especially those who are involved in the imprisonment of Leila de Lima.

“Every year, the United States provides large amounts of aid to the Philippines, and I have supported that aid. I assume President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s spokesman who defended the wrongful imprisonment of Senator De Lima does not consider our aid to be ‘interfering’ in their sovereignty,” Leahy was reported telling the ABS-CBN News in response to the remarks made by Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.
“Our aid is not a blank check, and when Philippine officials abuse the justice system for the purpose of political retribution, we have a responsibility to respond,” he added.

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Report from Manila Bulletin

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