Thursday, June 1 2017
CONTACT: Ian Silverii, Executive Director at [email protected]

DENVER: Following the release of video of a meeting between Sen. Cory Gardner and alleged mass murderer, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday in Manila, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded a full accounting of Sen. Gardner’s meeting with a murderous strongman who has been condemned by international human rights organizations.

“Sen. Cory Gardner owes the people of Colorado an explanation for why he can’t meet with us, but has time to visit with murderous Filipino strongman Rodrigo Duterte,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Since taking office last year, Duterte’s regime has been accused of thousands of extrajudicial killings, encouraging lawless vigilante violence against civilians, and threats against journalists. Duterte has boasted about personally committing murder. Duterte is the last person Sen. Gardner should be associating with, and yet there he was—a headline in Filipino news media, smiling and shaking hands with this murderous strongman.”

“Foreign policy is not a game,” said Silverii. “Sen. Gardner has a responsibility to condemn violators of human rights, not to embrace strongmen who slaughter civilians. Cory Gardner must explain himself, and apologize to the victims of Duterte’s campaign of terror against his own people—in person, in Colorado, in front of his constituents. Gardner can’t continue to hide from the people of Colorado while he coddles mass murderers abroad.”