Solons question Kenney-Murad meet
|Posted by Manila Mail under Philippine News|
Philippine senators are questioning the propriety of a foreign ambassador to be meeting with the leader of a group that wants to secede from the Philippines.
And strangely enough, the Department of Foreign Affairs has thus far remained silent when Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Senator Rodolfo Biazon asked if US Ambassador Kristie Kenney sought its permission to meet with Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the latters armed Camp Darapanan in Mindanao. Kenney brought along her own security detail and AID officials during the meeting that lasted for more than one hour.
The envoy later told newsmen they discussed the ongoing peace process.
The question, Pimentel said is whether Kenneys visit violated any specific Law. He pointed out that it is diplomatic practice to seek the permission of the host when foreign diplomats travel around a country. It is part of [diplomatic] custom and tradition that has ripened into an enforceable practice…It is unusual for any ambassador of any accredited country to just go to any rebel camp to talk with a rebel leader, he said. Normally, Pimentel said, such visits are cleared with the DFA or the Office of the President.
What if the Chinese ambassador met with…Murad? The issue Im trying to raise is, the US is our ally…why does it treat us as if we are still a colony?” the Senate minority leader asked. Biazon had stronger words on Kenneys visit to the MILF camp, calling it possible interference in the countrys internal affairs.