The government is planning to require Americans to get a visa before traveling to the Philippines if the US enforced the entry ban of Filipino officials involved in the detention of Senator Leila De Lima.
In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that all Americans are going to get a visa first before entering the Philippine territory as their response to the 2020 budget signed by US President Donald Trump.
The said budget includes a provision that gave authorization to the US Secretary of State to ban Filipino officials involved in De Lima’s detention.
“Should a ban from entry into US territory be enforced against Philippine officials involved in – or by reason of – Senator de Lima’s lawful detention, this government will require all Americans intending to come to the Philippines to apply and secure a visa before they can enter Philippine territory,” he said.
Panelo also revealed that the two American senators who proposed the said provisions, Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy are not allowed to visit the Philippines anymore.
“The President is immediately ordering the Bureau of Immigration to deny US Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy, the imperious, uninformed and gullible American legislators who introduced the subject provision in the US 2020 Budget, entry to the Philippines,” he added.
Panelo said that they don’t have any choice but to respond if the US enforce the ban against De Lima’s accusers.
“Lahat. Kung ie-enforce nila. Yun ang colatilla doon. If they will enforce this provision, in the US budget, then we will be compelled to require all Americans to secure a visa before they can be allowed entry,” he said.
“Napakaswerte nga sila, hindi sila binibigyan ng visa samantalang tayo nagpapakahirap. Masyado silang nagging privileged,” he added.
Panelo told the US Government not to interfere with the Philippine government which handling the case of De Lima.
“No other state can dictate upon our officials, judges, and justices the method upon which we enforce or interpret our laws vis-à-vis those who are believed to have committed a violation against the same,” he said.
The Spokesperson said that Duterte also refused the invitation of President Trump to visit America.