Bureau of Immigration to ban 2 US solons from PH if ordered
The Bureau of Immigration would prevent two American lawmakers from flying into the country if directed by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
As of Sunday, Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes, spokesperson for the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the agency had yet to receive order from Malacañang regarding the President’s remarks against Democratic Rep. Randy Hultgen and Republican Rep. James MacGovern.
The immigration bureau is an attached agency of the DOJ.
‘We will obey’
“We will obey if we are asked [to],” Aguirre said in a text message to reporters.
The two US lawmakers had written to US President Donald Trump, urging him to raise the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines in his meeting with President Duterte during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila.
Upon his return to the country early on Sunday after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam, Mr. Duterte was asked about the letter sent by the two lawmakers to Trump.
In reply, Mr. Duterte warned that he would include their names in the immigration blacklist and bar them from entering the Philippines.
“I’d like to know their names also because I can include them in the immigration barred list. That’s true… If you do not like me, I do not like you. We’re even,” Mr. Duterte said.
Letter to Trump
In their letter, Hultgen and MacGovern asked Trump to “impress upon President Duterte the United States’ profound concern over reported extrajudicial killings associated with the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs.’”
“We certainly recognize the strategic importance of maintaining our strong partnership with the Philippines… At the same time, we believe the United States must remain a champion of human rights, due process and the rule of law,” they said.
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