Press Release

Palace on the De Lima entry ban list: We leave it to the US

Malacañang on Thursday, February 26, maintained its previous position that it leaves to the United States of America the decision to ban who it may perceive as “persecutors” of Senator Leila de Lima, following the lady Senator’s submission of a list of names to its State Department for inclusion in the entry ban through the Magnitsky Act.

“Well, sabi natin any country has the authority and the discretion to ban any foreigner… Nasa US government ‘yan kas sila rin ang nagbigay ng kulatilya. If there is sufficient legal basis… Unang-una, is it wrongful? Pinakita na nga natin na hindi wrongful,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador S. Panelo said.

Panelo likewise maintained that the Chief Executive is not interested in setting foot on US soil, so the ban will, in no way, affect him.

“He already made a statement on that. He’s not interested. He’s not even interested in going there. ‘Di ba he declined the invitation na nga,” Panelo said.

The Palace official, in the same press briefing, argued that a joint resolution from both Houses of Congress cannot be binding vis-à-vis the franchise renewal of media giant ABS-CBN.

A joint resolution has recently been filed to extend the network’s franchise after the same expires on May 4.

“I already also issued an opinion on the fact that a resolution cannot be binding. It has to be a law. The former Chief Justice Puno shared my opinion. He just made a legal opinion on that because there has been a Supreme Court ruling many years ago that a resolution cannot be as binding and effective as a law. So, they should really do their work,” Panelo said. ###OPS/PCOO