Duterte government threatens to impose stricter visa requirements for U.S. citizens in response to new sanctions

The Philippine government on the offensive against American lawmakers in what has escalated into a tit-for-tat diplomatic ban.

Philippine presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the immigration bureau to deny entry to the Philippines effective immediately.

U.S. senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy sought to ban U.S. entry Filipino officials involved in what they called “wrongful detention” of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima a staunch critic of the Duterte administration.

The two American senators helped introduce a provision in America’s 2020 budget banning the entry of those involved in De Lima’s arrest and detention.

The U.S. is the Philippines’ third-largest source of international tourist arrivals, with over 1-million Americans visiting the country last year.

Panelo insists Malacanang’s move is a well-calculated one, and not a knee-jerk reaction to the controversy.

“The decision is to tell them ‘excuse me, we are a sovereign state, do not interefere with our judicial processes.’ It is not a threat, it is a statement, a reminder to them that we are not under their control.”

Panelo adds Duterte is set to turn down President Donald Trump’s invite to visit Washington.

Trump has asked Duterte to visit the U.S. three times, and sent a formal letter of invitation to the Philippine leader earlier this year.

De Lima has been detained since February 2017 over allegations she received payoffs from jailed drug lords during her time as justice chief.

De Lima, a critic of the war on drugs, and alleged human rights abuses of the Duterte administration has repeatedly denied the allegations slamming her detention as “political persecution.”

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  • Mario
    30 December 2019 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    DUTERTE turned down the invitation from Prez TRUMP. Sen DURBIN and Pat LEAHY are both DEMOCRAT mortal enemy of TRUMP, who is a Republican(GOP). Fil-Am activist is mostly from the past PH Admin.loyalist, rely on the support of the Globalist, MEDIA MATTERS funded by George Soros, a supporter of the Democrat Party. `US tourists will help PH economy, why give them a hard time? Wrong advice. The PH has a trade surplus against the US, Trump can just place a tariff on PH goods to have a Fiar and reciprocal Trade if he wanted too. US has already the blueprint for the control on PH 7 disputed Islands. All ASEAN leaders were already met with TRUMP and given task and responsibility except PH leader Duterte. TRUMP will never be IMPEACHED, Senate is GOP control. Pelosi will use Art. of Impeachment as a LEVERAGE to protect her SON PAUL PELOSI JR from Senate investigation on Ukraine corruptions together with Hunter Biden, Romney’s son and HINES, Kerry son in Law and many more. PAUL PELOSI JR, future successor of NANCY will never allow his name to be tarnished by the GOP investigators. Therefore she will w/drew the Article of Impeachment. This is only my opinion. UKRAINE is the milking cow of the former Administration, they used their children as cover-up on the corruption. Guiliani has all the affidavit from Ukraine.