Panelo: PH might require Americans to secure visa before allowing entry to country

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that US citizens will be required to apply for a visa to enter the Philippines if the US government enforces an entry ban on Philippine officials over their involvement in the alleged unlawful detention of Sen Leila de Lima, according to a Facebook post from Manila Bulletin.

This came after US President Donald Trump has signed the United States 2020 national budget that includes a provision that bans the entry of government officials from the Philippines that are involved in the detention of Senator Leila de Lima.

US Senators Richard Durbin and Democrat Patrick Leahy introduced the said provision last September 27 and it was adopted at the committee level.

The provision in the US Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill stated that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shall apply subsection (prohibition on entry) to foreign government officials about whom he “has credible information have been involved in the wrongful imprisonment of” De Lima “who was arrested in the Philippines in 2017.”

De Lima earlier cited the initial list of personalities whom she recalled have contributed in her illegal arrest and unjust detention including:

  • President Rodrigo Duterte
  • Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo
  • former Presidential Communications Operations Office Official Mocha Uson
  • Sass Rogando Sasot
  • RJ Nieto
  • former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez
  • former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II
  • Solicitor General Jose Calida
  • Public Attorneys Office Chief Persida Acosta
  • Sandra Cam
  • Dante Jimenez
  • Representatives Rey Umali and Rudy Fariñas

It also included a ban on Egypt government officials involved in the imprisonment of  Mustafa Kassem, a sickly American citizen.

The provision further states Pompeo shall apply such subsection to officials of the governments of Turkey, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia who have been involved in the wrongful detention of locally employed staff of a US diplomatic mission or a US citizen or national.

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