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Galawang China! Ping: Taiwan travel ban is wrong

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Like the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Philippine government’s travel ban on Taiwan – supposedly in the wake of the COVID-19 threat – may not necessarily be the the right call, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Friday.

In a statement, Lacson noted both the decisions to scrap the VFA and to impose the travel ban on Taiwan may have one thing in common: the so-called China lobby.

“Just like the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Philippine government’s travel ban to Taiwan is a policy decision implemented by the executive department which may not necessarily be correct, health-wise and politically,” Lacson said.

He added that politically, it seems that the China lobby “has become a very powerful force under the Duterte administration.”

But this early, he pointed out such a major shift in foreign policy could already have consequences on Filipino workers in Taiwan.

“Only time will tell if this major shift in the country’s foreign policy will benefit our people in the medium and long term – even as in the immediate term, the travel ban may already have potentially dire consequences for our Filipino workers there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lacson noted Duterte does not appear to give much importance to counsels and consultations with sectors that could very well help him arrive at well-informed decisions.

“While I do not question his sincerity in trying to solve the problems besetting our country since the time the millennials of the world were not even born, I still hope he can leave his own legacy worth remembering,” he said.

“Having said that, I continue to support his leadership but I will not stop calling him out on major decisions which I don’t think serve the best interest of our country and people,” he added.

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