MANILA, Dec 8 (Mabuhay) — The two-year jail sentence of Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is an “internal matter” that should not be interfered with, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“Well, this is an internal matter and this is part of their domestic affairs. And so we would rather not comment on the domestic affairs and processes of a sovereign state,” Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a Palace press briefing.
Suu Kyi, who led the former civilian government in the role of state counsellor, is among hundreds of people detained in Myanmar’s military junta’s pre-dawn takeover in February, which sparked huge demonstrations.
She now faces about a dozen legal cases including two for corruption and one for violating the Official Secrets Act, which carry a maximum penalty of more than 100 years in jail.
On Monday, a court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced Suu Kyi guilty to two years in detention on charges of incitement and breaching coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.
She was originally sentenced to four years in prison, but the military junta leader reduced it to two years’ detention in her current location.
Former president Win Myint was also sentenced to four years, also later reduced to two.
United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet slammed the Myanmar junta over Suu Kyi’s conviction, demanding for her release.
“The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically-motivated. It is not only about arbitrary denial of her freedom – it closes yet another door to political dialogue,” Bachelet said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called on fellow Asean leaders to stand with Myanmar after its military took control of the country in a coup in February.
“I am deeply concerned that the ongoing situation in Myanmar may further exacerbate the effects of the pandemic,” he said in a speech during the 39th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in October.
He emphasized the need to stand with Myanmar in resolving issues peacefully and in a manner that prioritizes the welfare of its people while at the same time focusing on comprehensive recovery efforts.
“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with Asean. We are, after all, an Asean family. And if [we] cannot trust each other and [work] together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he added.
Aside from Myanmar and the Philippines, other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (MNS)