WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Monday after the White House announced over the weekend that President Trump had extended an invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House:
“I am deeply disturbed by President Trump’s cavalier invitation to President Duterte to visit the White House. This is a man who has boasted publically about killing his own citizens. The United States is unique in the world because our values – respect for human rights, respect for the rule of law — are our interests. Ignoring human rights will not advance US interests in the Philippines or any place else. Just the opposite. Mr. Trump may rarely speak about or uphold the values that make America exceptional, but I will, along with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. The President should immediately rescind this invitation to the White House.
“Later this week, I will introduce bipartisan legislation along with Senator Rubio and several other colleagues to make it clear to President Duterte that there will be consequences for his barbaric actions, including preventing certain U.S. weapons from being sold to the national police and supporting human rights and civil society organizations in the Republic of the Philippines.”