Philip­pines bars EU party of­fi­cial crit­i­cal of Duterte

Ital­ian Filibeck was part of a del­e­ga­tion which de­nounced ‘ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings’

Gulf News - - Asia/ Philippines -

The Philip­pines has barred en­try to an EU party of­fi­cial crit­i­cal of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s bru­tal drugs crack­down, in a move de­nounced by crit­ics yes­ter­day as a gag on dis­sent.

Ital­ian Gi­a­como Filibeck was de­tained by bor­der po­lice upon his ar­rival at Cebu air­port on Sun­day and de­ported for en­gag­ing in “il­le­gal po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties”, his party said.

Filibeck, the deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Party of Euro­pean So­cial­ists, flew to the Philip­pines at the invitation of op­po­si­tion party Ak­bayan to at­tend a congress.

He had been part of a del­e­ga­tion of Euro­pean politi­cians who con­ducted an Oc­to­ber 2017 fact-find­ing mis­sion in the Philip­pines which de­nounced the “ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings” of thou­sands of peo­ple in Duterte’s anti-drug crack­down.

“This is a gag or­der to all and sundry that you can­not look into the hu­man rights sit­u­a­tion in the Philip­pines,” Ak­bayan con­gress­man Tom Vil­larin said.

“Ac­tions of the Duterte gov­ern­ment … re­ally show that de­gree of im­punity has risen to the level of a dic­ta­tor­ship,” he added.

Un­prece­dented cam­paign

Duterte has launched an un­prece­dented cam­paign against drugs since 2016.

Po­lice say they have killed 4,100 drug sus­pects as part of the cam­paign, while rights groups claim the toll is higher.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Me­nardo Gue­varra said Filibeck was re­fused en­try for vi­o­lat­ing lo­cal laws.

“Mr Filibeck has been black­listed by the [im­mi­gra­tion bureau] for vi­o­la­tion of our im­mi­gra­tion laws which pro­hibit aliens stay­ing in our coun­try from en­gag­ing in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

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