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Saksakan ng epal! Sotto, Dick slam US law banning entry of De Lima’s jailers

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The United States government’s move to sanction – through a travel ban – Philippine officials who jailed Senator Leila de Lima did not sit well with Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Dick Gordon.

“Great news!” This was part of De Lima’s tweet on Monday after US President Donald Trump signed a bill imposing a travel ban on Philippine officials who detained her over drug charges.

Related story:‘Di na makaka-biyahe sa US! Trump OKs ban on De Lima’s jailers

She said that Trump on Friday signed into law the US Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill which includes visa ban on Filipino government officials found to be involved in her supposed “unjust detention.”

Sought for reaction on Trump’s action, Sotto said, “It only shows they meddle with other country’s justice system without even investigating.”

Gordon said that the US ban to De Lima’s jailers is “an intrusion on the internal affairs of our country.”

“All our institutions are working,” said Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice, who led the Senate probe on De Lima’s alleged link to drugs.

De Lima was detained in February 2017 at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center on drug charges.

However, she claimed that the complaint was politically-motivated being a critic of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

De Lima’s office learned the news through a communication with the Office of US Sen. Richard Durbin, who, along with Sen. Patrick Leahy, introduced the amendment to the appropriations bill to deny the entry of Philippine government officials involved in the Senators “wrongful imprisonment.”

“The appropriations bill did pass and was signed by the president on Friday,” Dublin’s office confirmed.

Durbin recently announced on Twitter that the amendment he passed with Leahy restricting US visas to De Lima’s persecutors was included in the final US Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.

“Glad to see the amendment I passed with @SenatorLeahy restricting U.S. visas to all those involved in the troubling detention of Filipina Senator Leila de Lima included in the final FY20 appropriations bill. It’s time for her politically motivated imprisonment to come to an end,” Durbin tweeted.

Under the amended US Senate bill, the US Secretary of State should apply the subsection on the prohibition of entry “to foreign government officials about whom the Secretary has credible information have been involved in the wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima.

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