NOW the Philippine authorities are blustered and flabbergasted over the American law carrying an extraordinary provision “that the US Secretary of State is authorized to bar the entry into the United States of foreign government officials involved in the wrongful imprisonment of feisty Senator Leila de Lima.”
Why extraordinary? Because the provisions were inserted in the US government's 2020 spending bill which was signed into law by President Trump.
Why the special mention of Senator de Lima? Because she gained the sympathy of the righteous senators Durbin and Leahy who believed the case against De Lima was fabricated due to her insistence that flagrant extrajudicial killings extremely violated the human rights of the victims regardless of their involvement in the drug trade as orchestrated by Duterte, et al.
The perennial presidential apologist, Salvador Panelo, claimed that the act of the US in approving a proviso in its budget law banning entry to the US of the officials involved in the detention of Senator de Lima as a brazen interference in the Philippines' domestic affairs.
Why sulk over the ban in the entry to the US unless we have vested interests in that home of the brave and the land of the free?
For sure, the influential senators have all the reasons to introduce the provisions in the country's law when they feel outraged over the “wrongful” detention of our once eloquent lady senator.
It took the brilliance of Durbin and Leahy to make our leaders wake up to the realization that they know their law better than our boastful and “empty” leaders.
In retaliation, Duterte proposed that a visa requirement be imposed on those planning to enter the Philippines, particularly Durbin and Leahy!
Allegedly, the political persecution of De Lima was initiated, encouraged and abetted by Duterte and his partisans: Panelo, former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Public Attorneys' chief Persida Acosta, former congressmen Rey Umali and Rudy Farinas, Sass Rogando Sassot, RJ Nieto and other lesser individuals.
Any first-year law students know the need for a speedy trial, guaranteed by the Constitution and yet de Lima has not been given this privilege until this time. Why so? Has she been given due process like preliminary investigation and submission of a counter-affidavit and other relief afforded by law?
I admire lawyers Arlene Buan and Reydon P. Canlas due to their passions and skills in other endeavor.
Lawyer Arlene is a right-thinking would-be politician with selfless agenda toward genuine public service, whilst lawyer Reydon spends his other time in the pursuit of painting. A visit at his residence cum law office would delight callers of his talent in art.