Sotto, Lacson slams US bill blocking entry of PH officials linked in De Lima detention - The Daily Sentry

Sotto, Lacson slams US bill blocking entry of PH officials linked in De Lima detention

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Senators Vicente Sotto III and Panfilo Lacson lambasted the seemingly politically-motivated bill that a senate panel of the United States recently passed.

“Mga pakialamero. Hindi naman nila alam ang kaso. She (De Lima) is innocent until proven guilty but those US senators are not judges here in the Philippines,” Sen. Tito Sotto III said in a statement.

Lacson, meanwhile, further scrutinized the said bill as he can't make sense of it.

“I can’t make sense of that piece of legislation. Does it mean that all the witnesses who have testified against Sen de Lima,  DOJ prosecutors who found probable cause, the RTC judges who issued the arrest warrants against her, even the 9 SC justices who voted with finality to affirm her detention last year will be banned from entering the US?” Lacson asked in a separate message.

But the latter also believes that the chances of the proposal passing through the whole U.S. Congress is very slim.

“Admission into a country is a matter of privilege, not a right. Therefore, in an unlikely scenario that it passes the scrutiny of the entire US Congress and subsequently enacted into law, those who will fall under the classification as mentioned in the bill may have to face the reality that they have to stop thinking of visiting the US,” explained Lacson.

“I don't think our own legislature, no matter the perceived weaknesses and flaws we may suffer from, won't even consider conducting a committee hearing in case a legislator will file a bill of similar nature.” he continued.

“Having said that, not only a bill of such nature is uncalled for but a clear encroachment of the Philippines’ judicial system,” the senator added.

However, minority senator Francis Pangilinan had a different stance towards the US senators' move. Pangilinan, for his part, welcomed the amendment, saying it should not be equated to meddling.

“Human beings everywhere -- regardless of ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, or gender -- must speak out against mass murder,” Pangilinan said.

“We welcome this move of the US Senators, an act of solidarity not only for Sen. Leila de Lima, but for all the murdered victims, and their orphans, widows, and mothers and fathers, who are now doubly burdened by the absence of a loved one and in many, many cases a family breadwinner.” the Sharon Cuneta's husband added.

Malacañang likewise slammed the bill, calling it as a "brazen" attempt to intrude into the Philippines' internal affairs, adding it treats Manila as an "inferior state."

To know more about the controversial bill, read: US senate passes bill banning PH officials linked in Delima detention

Sources: ABS-CBN News Inquirer