No foreign government can tell us how we handle cases
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 17, 2019 - 12:00am

We should issue a strongly-worded note verbale telling the US government that they have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of an independent state like the Philippines. A senator was jailed because she faces a very serious drug-related case. A journalist is being prosecuted for alleged violation of our tax laws. Why should a small committee of the US Senate then tell us to reverse our court's decisions?

The Philippines is a sovereign state. We have our own independent legal judicial system. Persons who are accused of high crimes, if non-bailable, should be detained, even if they are senators. Famous journalists who have problems with their taxes should be prosecuted. Not even the United Nations can tell us to release a legally-detained accused, much less order our government to dismiss lawful charges for alleged violations of our tax laws. We do not interfere with the internal affairs of other sovereign states, even if we do not agree with their judicial and legal systems. We are committed to respect the other states and we expect other states to respect us.

Those gentlemen members of that Committee of the US Senate should have enough common sense to know that a sovereign state like the Philippines cannot be dictated, not even hinted on how to handle internal judicial cases. We are no longer a vassal or a colony of the USA. We make our own decisions and if we need their advice, we will ask for it. Suppose our Senate would also pass a resolution calling on the US Congress not to impeach President Trump, would they welcome it? Suppose we submit a House resolution calling on the US government to stop same-sex marriages in California, or to abolish the death penalty in Texas, would the Americans be happy with us?

Suppose we denounce intentional abortion, which is being practiced in many states in the US, would the American senators and congressmen welcome it? Suppose we also condemn euthanasia which is legalized in some US states, would the Americans feel happy about that? Suppose we attack President Trump's anti-immigration policies, and criticize how many children of Mexican immigrants were separated from their parents because the borders of the US are closely guarded by immigration authorities, would our expressions of concern be taken positively? The US politicians have better learn the golden rule. They should not do to us what they do not want us to do to them.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died in World War II because the US dragged us into its conflict with Japan. Our country was devastated because two powerful nations staged their war in our country. Many Filipino soldiers sacrificed their lives under the American flag. Our country was sold by Spain to the US for a measly twenty million dollars. And our independence declared on June 12, 1898 became moot because the USA and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris without involving us, or even notifying us. The Americans were given parity rights by President Manuel Roxas and many of our natural resources were expropriated by the Americans. They were allowed to use our territories to put up Clark and Subic and a hundred more for free.

We can be subjected to all kinds of sanctions but those do not deter us from standing up to defend our national dignity as a sovereign state and an independent people.

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