Panelo bristles at ‘insult’ by US Senate body

September 27, 2019

MALACANANG yesterday slammed the approval of a US Senate committee of a prohibition on the entry to the United States of any Philippine government official involved in the alleged “politically motivated” imprisonment of Senator Leila De Lima, calling it an “insulting” and “offensive” act.

In a statement, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the US Senate panel’s action is a “brazen attempt to intrude” into the Philippines’ domestic legal processes “given that the subject cases against the detained senator are presently being heard by our local courts.”

He said the approval seeks to “place pressure” on the country’s “independent institutions thereby effectively interfering with our nation’s sovereignty.”

“It is an insult to the competence and capacity of our duly constituted authorities as such act makes it appear that this US Senate panel has the monopoly of what is right and just. It is an outright disrespect to our people’s clamor for law and order,” Panelo said.

The Palace official stressed that the US Senate panel is treating the Philippines as an “inferior state unqualified to run its own affairs.”

“All sensible Filipinos, regardless of their political or social association, should feel affronted and disrespected by this insulting and offensive act,” Panelo said.

The prohibition was contained in an amendment to a bill under deliberation by the US Senate panel.