By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang told detained Senator Leila de Lima that the list of people supposedly behind her arrest she said she submitted to the United States government should have her name on it, since it was her fault she is behind bars.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after it was reported that De Lima has submitted the list to the U.S. government, citing a Senate resolution that would impose sanctions against the people behind her incarceration and the so-called enablers of human rights violations.
In a press briefing Wednesday, Panelo said De Lima must have forgotten she is in jail because she also violated human rights.
“The amendment refers to violators of human rights, ‘di umano (supposedly), and allegedly she’s one of those victims. But she’s forgetting that she’s also a violator of human rights. Kaya nga siya naka-demanda, eh (That’s why she’s in jail),” he said.
“Kung hindi niya nilagay yung pangalan niya doon na number one, eh mali yung listahan niya. On the assumption na totoo yung sinasabi niya, kasama siya doon dapat (If she didn’t put her name on the top of her list, then her list is wrong. Assuming her claims are true, then her name should be there),” he added.
According to Panelo, President Duterte could not care less if his name was on the list which De Lima’s camp described as “purely recommendatory.”
“He (President Duterte) already made his statement on that. He’s not interested,” he said.
“He’s not even interested in going there (to the U.S.). ‘Di ba he declined the invitation nga (Remember, he declined the invitation)?” he added, referring to the invitation of U.S. President Donald Trump to Southeast Asian leaders to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada next month for a summit.
Panelo said the Palace was leaving it to the U.S. government what to do with the list submitted by the detained lawmaker.
“Nasa U.S. government ‘yan, kasi sila rin nagbigay ng colatilla, eh, if there is sufficient basis, legal basis, ‘di ba, na totoo (It’s up to the U.S. government to determine because they were the ones who gave the conditions, if there is a sufficient and legal basis),” he said.
“Any country has the authority, the discretion to ban any foreigner.”
President Trump signed in December 2019 the United States’s 2020 budget that included a provision allowing the Secretary of State to ban the entry of Filipino officials supposedly behind De Lima’s “wrongful” arrest if there is evidence of their involvement.