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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Without giving any reason for the denial of entry of European political party official Giacomo Filibeck, Malacañang said the Philippines was merely exercising its sovereign right when it barred him from the country.
“There is no rule under international law that would compel us to admit anyone whom we do not want to admit in our territory. That’s the exercise of sovereignty,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, April 16.
The day before, Filibeck was held by immigration officials at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu and immediately deported.
Filibeck, deputy secretary-general of the Party of European Socialists (PES), was supposed to attend an event organized by the Left-leaning Akbayan.
Roque said that Filibeck was “determined as a person we don’t want to be in our territory.”
Asked for the exact reason why Filibeck was denied entry, Roque told Rappler, “No reason required. Sovereign prerogative.”
To sentiments that the barring of Filibeck shows the Duterte administration is “paranoid,” Roque left it to the public to weigh on the matter.
“Let the people decide. Akbayan has never had anything good to say about the President,” said Duterte’s mouthpiece.
Akbayan had earlier said that the government was accusing Filibeck of “illegal political activities.”
The PES, Filibeck’s party, has condemned the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.
He was part of the delegation, together with members of other European human rights organizations, who went to the Philippines in October 2017 to probe alleged human rights violations.
It was the same mission which Duterte wrongly linked to the European Union (EU), threatening to expel EU diplomats from the country in the process. (READ: Wrong info leads Duterte to threaten EU diplomats) – Rappler.com