Lagman: US solons’ call for travel ban vs De Lima jailers doesn’t intrude PH sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines — Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the move to legislate denial of entry into the US for Filipino officials involved in the imprisonment of Senator Leila De Lima “is an enforcement of American immigration laws and does not intrude into Philippine sovereignty.”
Lagman argued that the decision to allow or disallow any foreign national from entering a country’s territory is the country’s “unlimited sole prerogative.”
“The implementation of an immigration policy belongs to the host State’s exclusive sovereign jurisdiction,” Lagman said in a statement.
“The basis of such exclusionary act of sovereignty is beyond question by other governments or parties,” he added.
This came after a committee in the US Senate passed an amendment that would prohibit entry of any Philippine official involved in the detention of De Lima, who has been in jail for over two years over her alleged involvement in drug activities.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the move seeks to “place pressure” on the country’s “independent institutions thereby effectively interfering with our nation’s sovereignty.”
But Lagman said: “It is the Philippine officials who are assailing as meddling the US Senate panel’s action who are the ones interfering in the exercise of American sovereign right.”
“The freedom of public discourse allows officials of one country to criticize or even condemn the acts of officials of another country for genuinely perceived or actual violations of civil, political and human rights of the latter’s own citizens,” Lagman added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said US Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy, who proposed the said amendment, violated their own Constitution when they pushed for the travel ban on the Filipino officials.
Meanwhile, Senator Bong Go said he will also ask President Rodrigo Duterte to likewise ban the American senators who pushed for the said amendment. /je
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