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US Senate resolution mocks Philippine sovereignty

/ 05:01 AM January 17, 2020

This is in reaction to US Senate Resolution No. 142 calling on US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions against Philippine officials in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Act.

The Philippines is a sovereign and independent state. Even freshmen political science students know that the Philippines possesses the basic four elements and attributes of a state: 1) people; 2) territory; 3) sovereignty; and 4) government.

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It is the third element that is now being challenged by this US Senate resolution. ln general terms, sovereignty is understood as the inherent power of a state to control its internal or domestic affairs without external interference. As a sovereign state, the Philippines possesses coequal status with the other independent states in terms of rights, privileges, obligations and duties imposed by international law, including international covenants. One of the obligations of every state is to respect coequal states by not meddling in the other’s internal affairs. This includes the manner and method by which that coequal state administers its government. The authors of the said resolution seem to have forgotten that the Filipino people had already declared independence from the United States seven decades ago; perhaps they still imagine the Philippines as a colony of the United States.lf indeed the US senators have reasonable grounds to believe that the human rights of Sen. Leila de Lima were violated, there are diplomatic channels and international bodies that can properly investigate the matter. But resorting to a resolution without even conducting an investigation is an act of intrusion into Philippine affairs and a mockery of our sovereignty. Such unwarranted action by the US senators is tantamount to dictating on our Supreme Court about what to do with pending cases.

Trump, as the head of the US executive branch of government, should be circumspect and prudent in considering US Senate Resolution 142. He should not forget that the Philippines is a

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sovereign state coequal with the United States.

SAMROLLAH M. DEKIRE, Pagadian City

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TAGS: Leila de Lima, Philippine sovereignty, Trump, US Senate resolution, US Senate Resolution No. 142
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