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Aid interference

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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.

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.

(US Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont slamming presidential spox Salvador Panelo for accusing the Washington of interfering in Philippine affairs over a proposed US travel ban on officials behind the imprisonment of Sen. Leila de Lima)

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