Two U.S. Democratic senators have been banned from visiting the Philippines due to their “arrogant” and “ignorant” policies.
Effective Friday, Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dick Durbin of Illinois are no longer allowed to travel to the Philippines because of a provision they introduced in the 2020 budget that bars entry into the United States for any Filipinos involved in the jailing of Filipina Sen. Leila de Lima.
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“The Philippines is immediately ordering the Bureau of Immigration to deny US Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy — the imperious, uninformed, and gullible American legislators who introduced the subject provisions into the 2020 budget — entry to the Philippines,” Panelo said.
Furthering the tit-for-tat, Duterte will require all American travelers to get visas if any Filipino officials are denied entry into the U.S. under the budget provision.
De Lima, 60, was arrested in February 2017. She was the former secretary of justice under Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, and has been a vocal opponent of extrajudicial killings that have occurred during Duterte’s drug war.
“Senator Leila de Lima has bravely defended human rights throughout her career. We should defend hers,” Leahy said in an October tweet.