Co-Chairs Respond to President Duterte’s Threat to Ban Them from Philippines
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Randy Hultgren and James P. McGovern, Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, have released the following statement in response to Philippines’ President Duterte’s warning that he would ban them from the Philippines for a letter urging President Trump to raise human rights violations in his visit to the country.
“Since President Duterte came into office, his security forces have killed thousands of Philippines citizens in what he calls a ‘war against drugs.’ As Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress, we have encouraged Mr. Duterte to reconsider his policies in keeping with his country’s obligations under international law. His most recent response was to threaten to ban each of us from traveling to his country. Today we are stating clearly that ‘sovereignty’ does not give governments free rein to kill their own people at will. We will continue to stand up for human rights and the rule of law in the Philippines and everywhere else in the world, in keeping with American and international values. We urge Mr. Duterte to join us in that endeavor. Should the situation in the Philippines improve, it will be our pleasure to recognize that the next time we hold a hearing on that country.”