^

Headlines

Palace reacts to US ban on journalist ‘offenders’

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Palace reacts to US ban on journalist âoffendersâ
An explanatory statement for the $2.3-trillion US pandemic aid and spending law states that the secretary of state shall apply subsection (c) to foreign government officials involved in “threatening, wrongfully imprisoning, or otherwise depriving of liberty independent journalists who speak out or publish about corruption or other abuses.”
AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has called for respect for domestic policies after the United States enacted a spending law containing a policy that bars entry to foreign government officials who have threatened or wrongfully imprisoned independent journalists.

An explanatory statement for the $2.3-trillion US pandemic aid and spending law states that the secretary of state shall apply subsection (c) to foreign government officials involved in “threatening, wrongfully imprisoning, or otherwise depriving of liberty independent journalists who speak out or publish about corruption or other abuses.”

It was referring to Section 7031(c), which provides that in cases where the state secretary has “credible information” that officials of foreign governments have been involved in a “gross violation of human rights or significant corruption,” those individuals and their immediate family members are to be designated publicly or privately and are ineligible for entry into the United States.

The statement mentioned Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa, who has been convicted of cyberlibel and whose news website has been charged with violating tax and anti-dummy laws – cases she claim were meant to harass independent media.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the administration recognizes the democratic process of a sovereign state like the US, but spoke out against “intrusion” of another nation’s sovereignty.

“As a fellow sovereign state, we respect the sovereignty, independence and equality of the United States. Consistent with this position, we have our own independent institutions and domestic laws that must be enforced and applied to all,” Roque said in a statement this week.

“Each must learn to respect each other’s domestic policies and intrusion to another nation’s sovereignty must be frowned upon,” he added.

Roque said respect for domestic policies is a basic principle of international law that is based on the United Nations Charter, which declares that the organization and its members “shall act based on (the) principle of sovereign equality of its members.”

Several media and human rights groups claim that the cases filed against Ressa send a chilling effect to journalists. Officials, however, insist that the cases have nothing to do with press freedom.

JOURNALIST
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