^
Duterte: Premature to react to proposed US ban on Philippines execs
President Rodrigo Duterte noted that the proposal by Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is not yet an act of state because it has yet to secure the nod of the entire American Senate.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Duterte: Premature to react to proposed US ban on Philippines execs

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte thinks it is premature to react to a proposal by two American senators to bar Philippine officials involved in the detention of his fierce critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, from entering the United States.

Duterte noted that the proposal by Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is not yet an act of state because it has yet to secure the nod of the entire American Senate.

“I have the best adjective for that pero at this time... Hilaw pa ‘yan eh. When it becomes ripe, then I will say my piece,” the President told reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before departing for Russia last Tuesday.

“I do not deal individually with the congressmen or senators there. It’s not yet ripe. It is not an act of state. It does not carry the mandate of the entire Senate. So, if there is one or two or three who say that these things exist in the Philippines, let them,” he added.

Duterte, who previously lambasted the US for supposedly meddling in Philippine affairs, said he would talk to US President Donald Trump if the American Congress approves the Leahy-Durbin amendment.

“These are the voices of members of a committee. And if that committee will report the resolution to the plenary and the plenary would adopt or join them, that would be the act of Congress,” the President said.

“I cannot help them in their ignorance. So if they decide to report it out of the committee to the plenary for adoption... it is now ripe, it becomes a matter now between two states, then that is the time maybe the State Department or Trump and I will have to talk. And I will talk,” he added.

Leahy and Durbin have filed an amendment to the 2020 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill to deny US entry to Filipino officials involved in De Lima’s imprisonment. They described the imprisonment of De Lima, who is facing drug-related charges, as “wrongful” and accused officials of the Duterte administration of abusing the justice system for political retribution.

Last week, the US Senate’s appropriations committee approved the amendment introduced by the two senators, a move that Malacañang labeled as a “brazen attempt” to intrude into Philippine legal processes.

Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez issued a statement branding the proposed travel ban as “unacceptable.”

Rejecting aid ‘childish’

Meanwhile, in New York, an official of Amnesty International (AI) has said it is “childish” on the part of the Philippine government to reject aid from countries that supported the Iceland-backed resolution seeking to investigate the Duterte administration’s deadly war against illegal drugs.

“It’s a very good reflection of how the Philippine government is responding in a somewhat childish manner rather than putting the interests of the Filipino people first,” AI secretary-general Kumi Naidoo told The STAR in a recent interview.

“Presumably, these aid arrangements were to help such things as education, health, water sanitation and so on, which many people in rural Philippines and urban areas need,” he added. – With Janvic Mateo, Pia Lee-Brago

LEILA DE LIMA
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with