ULYANIN KA NA BA? Recognize Maria Ressa as a Courageous Filipino?


Puro panggugulo sa bansa na hindi naman nila bansa.

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US Sen. Leahy: Release De Lima instead of requiring Americans visa before entry to PHL

December 29, 2019

US Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the American legislators whom President Rodrigo Duterte ordered barred from entering the Philippines, has cried foul over the latter’s threat to require American citizens to secure a visa before entering the Philippines.

“Rather than responding by irrationally threatening to deny visas to American citizens, the Duterte government should either release Senator De Lima immediately or provide her the fair, public trial she is entitled to,” Leahy said in a statement issued Saturday (US time).

Leahy, together with Senator Richard Durbin, introduced a provision in the US national budget bill for next year that prohibits entry into the US of Philippine government officials linked to the “wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima.

This was later included in the budget law signed by US President Donald Trump.

In an apparent retaliation, Duterte ordered an entry ban on Durbin and Leahy to the Philippines, according to his spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

The government would likewise require American citizens to secure a visa before entering the Philippines if the US will impose the entry ban, Panelo added.

Leahy pointed out that De Lima’s imprisonment, as well as the threats against journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, “have been criticized around the world, including by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations.”

“Rather than try to silence a journalist who has bravely dared to expose official corruption and abuse, it should recognize Maria Ressa as a courageous Filipino exercising her right of free expression,” he said.

In a separate tweet, Leahy said he has always stood up for journalists’ right to report news both in the US and around the world.

“No one can force me to stop standing up for their rights,” he added.

Leahy’s spokesman David Carle said anyone — including Philippine officials — has the right to freely express their opinion, but he maintained that the charges against De Lima are politically motivated. —Erwin Colcol/KG, GMA News

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US Sen. Leahy: Release De Lima instead of requiring Americans visa before entry to PHL