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Locsin: It’s exercise of sovereign right for US to refuse visa to anyone

/ 06:36 PM December 23, 2019
Locsin: PH filed ‘more or less 60’ diplomatic protests vs China since 2016

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday (Dec. 23) recognized that the United States can refuse visas to anyone, citing sovereignty.

The remark came after President Donald Trump signed the US 2020 budget which included a provision banning the entry into the United States of those allegedly involved in Sen. Leila De Lima’s detention.

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“US can refuse visas to anyone it wants for any reason,” said Locsin in a tweet.

“The PH deported a nun in that way. It is an aspect of sovereignty,” Locsin added.

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Locsin argued, however, that the only way for an accused, like De Lima, to be free is after trial and if convicted, after pardon.

“Resolutions by legislature or executive—native or alien—are of no moment,” the foreign affairs secretary said.

In another tweet, Locsin said De Lima already challenged the sufficiency of the drug-related charges against her, which she lost twice in the Supreme Court.

“To her credit [D]e Lima dared challenge the sufficiency of the charges,” Locsin said.

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“To its credit the Republic’s highest legal authority ruled them sufficient for prosecution & trial—2x (twice),” Locsin added in a tweet.

“The US resolution was by senators of varied talents; the SC (Supreme Court) ruling was by honour graduates. Point PH,” he said.

Locsin also agreed with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who said that the issue is “much bigger than the prosecution of Senator De Lima on drug charges”, adding that the issue revolved around “sovereignty and non-interference among co-equal nations.”

“Yes, it has to do with sovereignty which if we waive here we may as well waive it to China and give Subic and Clark,” Locsin said.

Further, Locsin said that the country’s justice system “works better than the American” as he cited the recent conviction of those involved in the decade-long Maguindanao massacre case.

“ON TOP OF WHICH the decision in the Maguindanao Massacre proves our justice system works better than the American which let the My Lai killers off; although the great woman judge should’ve convicted the PNP (Philippine National Police) accomplices as well. Kin of victims should’ve had ’em shot in the head,” Locsin said.

De Lima has since lauded the US rider on the spending plan, which she called as the “most wonderful Christmas blessing.”

The senator, who has been detained over drug-related charges since February 2017, said that crimes against humanity, including those allegedly being committed under the Duterte administration, should be sanctioned by the community of nations.

She argued that “systematic and widespread violation of human rights” is not an exercise of independence.

“It is only a matter of time before the European Union, Canada, and other nations follow suit in imposing sanctions on Duterte, his officials and their cohorts,” De Lima said.

The Palace said it was not bothered by the ban, saying that US laws required “credible information” before they could deny entry to any Philippine citizen.

Edited by TSB

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TAGS: De Lima, DFA, drug case, Immigration, US, visa
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