WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Wednesday after the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs released the transcript of the phone call between Presidents Trump and Duterte last month in which Mr. Trump is quoted as telling Mr. Duterte he is doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem”:
“Independent press, civil society groups, foreign governments and international organizations have all confirmed that President Duterte’s government is engaged in the extrajudicial killing of their own citizens involved in selling or using drugs. Mr. Duterte himself has admitted to murdering people as a former mayor. That Mr. Trump would laud Mr. Duterte for his barbaric atrocities is outrageous and another indication that instead of standing up for America’s values, President Trump continues to endorse leaders around the world who violate the very principles that America’s founding fathers enshrined in our Constitution. The transcript is appalling.”
Senators Cardin and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced bipartisan legislation recently to restrict the exportation of certain defense articles by the United States to the Philippine National Police, support human rights and civil society organizations in the Republic of the Philippines, and report on sources of narcotics entering that country.