A headline by Rappler reads: “U.S. Senate panel OKs ban on PH officials in De Lima case, urges dropping charges vs. Ressa.”
THE FACTS: A U.S. Senate committee — the Foreign Relations Committee which passed the resolution — does not, and cannot ban Philippine officials from entering the U.S. That is a function of the Executive Branch. It is precisely why the resolution “calls on the President of the United States to impose sanctions…” under the Magnitsky Act.
Also, a “resolution” does not have the force of law. It is, by its very nature, only recommendatory.
So even the “dropping of all criminal charges against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa” is just wishful thinking on the part of the American Senators. This is a decision left to the Philippines’ judicial system which the U.S. Senate has no jurisdiction over.