Fil-Am businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis 'persona non grata' in Davao City
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Filipino-American businesswoman and philantrophist Loida Nicolas Lewis is no longer welcome in the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Davao City Council on Tuesday, February 13, passed the resolution of Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang to declare Lewis as "persona non grata" in Davao City.
Speaking to Rappler, Dayanghirang said Lewis deserved it for being part of the attacks against Duterte since he won the presidency in 2016.
“Instead of attacking the President she could have just helped unite the Filipino people,” the councilor said in a phone interview.
He said their primary basis for making the decision was Durterte allegation that Lewis was behind the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to conduct preliminary examinations into the Philippine leader's drug war killings. The President claimed he got the information from a "third country."
Duterte had earlier claimed that Lewis had influenced the ICC, which is based in The Hague, the Netherlands, to take the first step in the complaint filed against him in relation to his war on drugs. The Office of the Prosecutor is acting on two communications filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano in 2017.
Lewis, an influential leader in the Filipino-American community as part of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council, categorically denied the accusation.
Lewis, who supported the tandem of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo during the 2016 elections, has been the target of Duterte's online supporters who had attempted to link her to a supposed bid to oust Duterte. (READ: #LeniLeaks: Speculations based on fragmented emails)
Lewis has spoken out against extrajudicial killings in Duterte's war on drugs.
Aside from Lewis, the Davao City Council also declared as persona non grata that day another Duterte critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Over the years, the Davao City Council had declared individuals as persona non grata for acts that have been deemed offensive to residents or to the city.
Dayanghirang explained that the resolutions are mere “expressions of indignation,” so if any of the these tagged individuals would travel to Davao City, they are not legally barred from doing so.
“These resolutions are an expression of sentiment. It is not an ordinance. But we express our indignation of their unfair treatment to the President,” Dayanghirang said of Trillanes and Lewis. – Rappler.com