US may not easily implement ban on officials behind De Lima’s detention – DFA

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2019   •   680

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. believes that the US will not easily implement the ban on government officials who were involved in the arrest and detention of Senator Leila de Lima.

On his twitter post, Sec. Locsin said he respects the rights of the US government not to issue a visa or bar any government official who was behind de Lima’s detention as the Philippines is doing the same as one aspect of its sovereignty.

“The only way for accused to go free is after trial; if convicted after pardon. Resolutions by legislature/ executive—native or alien—are of no moment. US can refuse visas to anyone it wants for any reason; the PH deported a nun in that way. It is an aspect of sovereignty,” his tweet reads.

This, following US President Donald Trump’s move of signing the 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill wherein the US Secretary of State was given such authority in one of its provisions.

Section 7022 of the measure states that the US Secretary shall submit to the concerned congressional committees a plan to implement corresponding sanctions on gross violation of human rights” particularly “unjust or wrongful detention,”  including those of American citizens and nationals.

Democrat Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy who have earlier said that De Lima’s detention was politically motivated introduced the amendment which the US Senate Appropriations Committee passed in September.

Locsin, however, said that the US Justice and State Departments may not exercise that granted authority for higher reasons of the state like the Indo-Pacific strategy.

The US government is pushing for the Indo-Pacific strategy particularly in countries in Asia for unrestricted trade flow, freedom of navigation, and respect to the rule of law. –(with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

DFA announces temporary closure of consular office in Butuan for disinfection

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced the temporary closure of its consular office in Butuan City on September 30 for disinfection.

In an advisory, the DFA said Consular Office in Butuan will conduct disinfection and implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The office will resume operations on October 1.

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing butuan.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

– Name
– Date of birth
– Original appointment date and time
– Preferred date and time of new appointment

DFA NCR East closes for disinfection Sept. 28

Marje Pelayo   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that its National Capital Region-East (NCR-East) consular office located at SM Megamall will be closed on Monday (September 28).

This is to give way to disinfection of office premises and implementation of other preventive measures to manage and prevent risks against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DFA NCR-East will resume its regular operations on Tuesday (September 29), the advisory said.

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing ncreast.so@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Original appointment date and time
  • Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day (Monday to Friday) from September 29 to October 29 during the Consular Office’s regular operation hours 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

Applicants who need emergency or urgent consular services may contact Consular Office NCR-East by email at ncreast.so@dfa.gov.ph.

DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.

“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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