By Genalyn Kabiling
The government has the sovereign power to forbid the entry of certain persons into the country, Malacañang said in defense of deporting a European politician for partisan political activity.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque admitted that Giacomo Fillibeck, deputy secretary general of the Party of European Socialists (PES), was blocked from entering the country because he was not welcome in the territory.
“In international law, it is always the sovereign decision whom they wish to allow into their territory. So we are not obliged to allow anyone into our territory if we do not want them in our territory,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.
“Unfortunately, the socialist leader was one of those that we determined as a person we don’t want to be in our territory,” he said
Immigration authorities recently blocked the entry of Filibeck at the Cebu international airport for alleged involvement in partisan political activities. Filibeck, who was supposed to attend a two-day conference organized by Akbayan party-list group, was reportedly immediately deported.
Roque, however, insisted that the government was simply exercising its sovereignty. “There is no rule under international law that will compel us to admit anyone whom we do not want to admit into our territory. That’s the exercise of sovereignty,” he said.
On claims by Akbayan party that the incident indicated the government’s paranoia, Roque said it was up to the people to decide on the matter. He noted that Akbayan has never said anything good anyway about the President.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said it was unlawful for foreigners staying in the country to engage in partisan political activities. Filibeck reportedly criticized the President’s brutal war on drugs during his visit to the Philippines last year.