Locsin: No mention of denying visa to De Lima jailers in 2020 US budget
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. said Saturday that the United States Appropriations Act of 2020 did not implement visa ban against those involved in detaining Senator Leila de Lima, who is currently jailed at Camp Crame for drug-related charges.
“We looked at the US Appropriations Act, there is no mention of denying visas to Filipinos and there is no mention of De Lima,” Locsin told dzMM, citing that he already stated this at a memorandum sent to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Foreign Affairs chief also criticized some United States senators who urged government to drop De Lima’s drug charges, saying it was an insult to the country’s Supreme Court (SC).
He noted that the SC is more credible than those politicians who approved the Senate resolution because members of the SC are those who graduated Summa Cum Laude, with highest academic grade.
“When they [US senators] said drop the charges, they just insulted the Philippine Supreme Court because.. I said, the Senate resolution was passed by politicians who are elected, whether you have an IQ or not you can get elected. The Philippine Supreme Court are mostly summa cum laude, I think I believe the Philippine SC more,” he said.
“When the Philippine SC looked at the charges, De Lima said the charges were fake, baseless. They [SC] said: ‘We are not saying you are guilty but we are saying they are sufficient,’” he added.
Reports showed that last Dec. 20, US President Donald Trump signed the 2020 national budget, which included a provision that prohibited the entry to the US of those behind the detention of De Lima. The said provision was inserted in the 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.
No Visa ban for Filipinos who jailed De Lima
The very vocal Foreign Affairs chief said there is no ban for De Lima’s jailers, noting that it was not cited at the US Appropriations Act of 2020.
“Right now there is no ban, that is a Senate resolution [but] it did not appear in the US Appropriations Act,” Locsin said.
Locsin said visa-free policy should not be allowed, citing that human trafficking incidents happen due to the said policy.
“Visa-free, visa upon arrival, they are wrong. Every country is entitled to control their borders and we just gave it up. We have to stop that already,” he said.
“You know what visa-free is used for? Human trafficking,” he added.
Edited by JPV
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