Tell It to SunStar: US legislation is intervention

By Jake Flourence Camasura

THE United States (US) Senate Legislative Department is not yet done. It is still crossing its fingers and not giving up on influencing the Philippine Government through their countless resolutions.

US, one of the avid advocates of human rights, is still raising its voice through filing resolutions, demanding for immediate relief of the human rights violations and urging US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on people behind Sen. Leila de Lima’s detention. They even demanded for the immediate release and dropping of all charges against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Rappler itself.

US Senate foreign relations committee unanimously approved a resolution that would penalize human rights offenders and the extrajudicial killings in the country. For sure, President Rodrigo Duterte is not exempted by this move, especially now that he is a fierce critic of the US. US Senate Resolution 142 used the amended version of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act as justifiable stands and basis of the resolutions.

Now, the question is: Is the Philippines still under the sovereign authority of the US? Of course not. They should not control the country’s internal affairs and independence. We have our own constitution that upholds every constituent’s rights. The Philippines and US has a Treaty of Mutual Defense signed way back 1951, but this is only limited to naval or army forces and defenses of the two nations. Controlling the country’s internal political affairs are not included in this.

Whether they like it or not, Philippines still has the right to make its own decisions on the interventions. They should respect the political processes of this country in the same manner that we respect theirs. If the US really condemns that much the human rights situation in our country, maybe they should try to look sometimes on their own backyard.

Demanding for the immediate release of De Lima and the dropping of charges against Ressa by mere resolutions without the full knowledge of what really happened is considered a violation of due process. It only shows biases and disrespect on the integrity of the country’s judicial processes. If the US is really meticulous on the current condition of human rights in this country, then they should not do it discreetly on their own. Due process is also a human right.

Because of the manifestations of US condemnations on the Philippines’ human rights offenders, recently there is this widespread fake news that Bato de la Rosa was declared as persona non grata after being allegedly seen on hold on the floors of the JFK Airport in the US. However, even though this is just fake news, possible threats to those officials of the government who contradicts the US are quite inevitable.

If the eyes of the law see everyone innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, then why does the US file and approve resolutions without further studying and understanding the side of the Philippines? Colonial powers of the US on the Philippines are long already gone.


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