MANILA - A European Socialist Party official said he is worried about the political conditions in the country after he was barred by Immigration officials from entering the Philippines.
Giacomo Filibeck, deputy secretary-general of the Party of European Socialists, was invited to speak at an Akbayan Party-list event Sunday but was refused entry due to his supposed engagement in illegal political activities.
"I'm not really worried [for myself]. It's just about jumping back from the plane and going back to Europe. What really worries me is the condition in which you are engaged in politically in the struggle for freedom, dignity, and human rights," he said in a video message to Akbayan.
Filibeck was part of a human rights mission that visited Manila last year to investigate alleged killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. The group also openly denounced the deaths.
Despite the setback, the Italian Socialist Party official, who was part of the former ruling party in Rome, said he remains one with Akbayan in defending human rights.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier justified the immigration bureau's action on Filibeck, saying foreigners could not be allowed to engage in "partisan political activities."
"The government has the right to refuse entry to those who have committed these illegal acts in the past," Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin seeks a Congressional inquiry into the deportation of Filibeck as he wants to know if refusing entry to foreign critics of the administration is now a foreign policy.