Boston (January 2, 2020) — The administration of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed that Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) is barred from entry into the Philippines for his vocal stance condemning human rights offenses of the Government of the Philippines. Last week, the Duterte government announced a travel ban on two other Senators and threatened restrictions on Americans traveling to the Philippines in response to accountability measures that Senator Markey and his colleagues have called for. The travel ban against Senator Markey follows the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passing his bipartisan resolution S.Res.142, which highlights the cases of Senator Leila De Lima and journalist Maria Ressa, founder of the online news platform Rappler. The Duterte government has wrongfully imprisoned Senator De Lima for more than 1,000 days and has repeatedly jailed Ms. Ressa in response to their work to expose extrajudicial killings and other abuses by the Filipino security forces’ “war on drugs.” 

“President Duterte is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues,” said Senator Markey, top Democrat on the East Asia subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “He has already failed to silence Senator De Lima, Maria Ressa, and others in his country who have spoken truth to power. I stand with the people of the Philippines and with my state’s vibrant Filipino-American community in fighting for the highest democratic ideals and against the strongman tactics of the Duterte government.”