Duterte tops De Lima list of people she wants banned in US

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Duterte tops De Lima list of people she wants banned in US
In this file photo taken July 25, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Leila de Lima shake hands after the President delivered his 2016 State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
PPD / King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte leads the personalities detained Sen. Leila de Lima wanted banned in the US for her detention over the past three years.

Ferdie Maglalang, the senator’s media officer, confirmed to Philstar.com that a “longer and more detailed” list than that which the senator released last October was submitted to the US embassy in the second week of January.

The embassy would then have sent the document to the US State Department, which will be responsible to implement a US budget provision that prohibits entry to US shores of people responsible for De Lima’s “wrongful imprisonment.” The embassy has yet to respond to our inquiries as of this posting.

While he declined to provide the complete list, Maglalang responded “yes” to Philstar.com through a text message when we asked whether “all those on the initial list are on the final list.”

READ: 2020 US budget includes ban on people behind 'wrongful imprisonment' of De Lima

The initial list of individuals, contained in Dispatch from Crame 612 last October 17, named Duterte and his spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, as people who orchestrated her “persecution.” “My persecution started with a daily public media demolition by none other than Duterte, using all his powers as President,” she said then.

At the time, the senator also included in the list Solicitor General Jose Calida, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, public attorney’s office chief Persida Acosta, and former Lower House legislators Reynaldo Umali and Rudy Farinas. 

These people, the senator said then, were responsible for the “public circus” that is the Lower House investigation into her supposed illegal drug links. Testimonies in the House probe later on served as basis for illegal drug charges against De Lima.

De Lima, who marked her third year in detention at Camp Crame on Monday, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Mocha Uson, deputy executive director at the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, and Sandra Cam of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office were also part of De Lima’s initial list, as well as bloggers Sass Rogando Sasot and RJ Nieto. 


In a message to reporters on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said: “I trust that the US State Department will exercise its own independent evaluation and exercise prudence and circumspection.”

De Lima’s list will serve as basis for the implementation of a US budget provision that imposes a US travel against people she considers her “persecutors.” Duterte has repeatedly said he would not travel to the US during his term as president.

A separate US resolution was likewise passed calling for the same ban as well as financial sanctions against the same people. The resolution invoked a bipartisan law called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act which affords the US government power to sanction those deemed to be human rights violators. 

Rising tensions

If implemented, a US travel ban on government officials would only increase tensions between the Philippines and its oldest ally. 

When the US budget law was passed, Malacanang slammed the provision on the travel ban, calling it a violation of Philippine sovereignty. Months after, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s US visa was canceled in January, although it is unclear whether the move was an implementation of that provision.

READ: 'Why blame me?': Bato 'bothered' that canceled visa led to VFA termination

Duterte then retaliated by ordering the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. The cancellation of military alliance will take effect within 180 days from the receipt of notice by the US earlier this month.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 27, 2020 - 5:37am

US President Donald Trump has signed into law banning the US entry of those behind Sen. Leila de Lima’s detention. Follow this page for updates. 

February 25, 2020 - 4:32pm

Sen. Leila de Lima's media officer confirms all names previously mentioned in the senator's earlier dispatch are in the list of "prosecutors" submitted to the US Embassy.

The list includes President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Solicitor General Jose Calida.



January 29, 2020 - 7:44pm

President Duterte says no Cabinet member will be allowed to go to the US indefinitely.

January 23, 2020 - 9:08pm

President Duterte threatens to end the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the US unless the cancellation of Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa's visa is reversed within one month.

January 3, 2020 - 8:35am

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey has reacted on the Philippine government's move to ban the US senator from entering the country after voicing support for a US travel ban on Philippine officials involved in the detention of Sen. Leila de Lima. 

“President Duterte is sorely mistaken if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues,” says Markey in a press release.

Markey, the third US senator barred from the Philippines, says Duterte has already failed to silence De Lima, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and many others "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,” he adds.

December 27, 2019 - 1:53pm

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the government will require all Americans to secure a visa before they enter the Philippines if the US government enforce the ban from entry into US territory against officials involved in Sen. Leila de Lima's "lawful imprisonment."

"The Philippines is immediately ordering the Bureau of Immigration to deny US Sens. Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy the imperious, uninformed and gullible American legislators who introduced the subject provision in the US 2020 budget, entry to the Philippines," says Panelo in a press briefing. 

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