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Locsin: Canceling courtesy passports isn't unlawful.

Canceling courtesy diplomatic passports is not unlawful but is a move to protect national honor, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Monday.

'It is not 'unlawful'; It is a courtesy to those who have ceased doing the job requiring blue passports,' Locsin said over Twitter on Monday.

'We don't want to have them out there dishonored by foreign immigration by rejection. Just protecting national honor, sir. We may restore it (diplomatic passport) but insist it be the only passport,' Locsin stressed, in reaction to former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario's statement that the move is 'illegal' and 'unlawful'.

It is not "unlawful"; it is a courtesy to those who have ceased doing the job requiring blue passports. We don't want to have them out there dishonored by foreign immigration by rejection. Just protecting national honor, sir. We may restore it but insist it be the only passport. https://t.co/0JQ5qFLwI3

Del Rosario, who was using his diplomatic passport, was barred entry to Hong Kong last week.

According to the DFA, it issued a diplomatic passport to Del Rosario in December 2016 as approved by then Secretary Perfecto Yasay by virtue of Department Order 12-1993.

Locsin clarified that the said order provides issuance of diplomatic passports by courtesy to former DFA secretaries, among other government officials.

'[R.A. 8283...has list of persons who MAY be issued diplomatic passports. It did not include former SFAs (Secretary of Foreign Affairs but [R.A. 8283] said [the] President and [the] SFA issue diplomatic passports to other persons not listed who are ON OFFICIAL MISSION abroad,' Locsin said in a separate tweet.

Here's clarification: 1. DFA Dept Order No. 12-93 1993 provides issuance of diplomatic passports by courtesy to former SFAs, among other govt officials. RA8283 1997 RR has list of persons who MAY be issued diplomatic passports. It did not include former SFAs but RA8239 said...

2. President and SFA may issue diplomatic passports to other persons not listed who are ON OFFICIAL MISSION abroad. It did not provide for issuance of diplomatic passports by courtesy. D.O.20-99 1999 removes any mention of courtesy diplomatic passports and all prior regs...

Locsin said the DFA is still issuing courtesy diplomatic passports but clarified that said passports 'do not grant diplomatic immunity.'

'Del Rosario's granted by Yasay. 18 June 2019, he applied with Consular; granted revalidation for the stated purpose of a business trip to HK,' he said.

3. ...inconsistent modified. Still DFA has kept issuing diplo passports til the present. Such passports DO NOT GRANT DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY. Del Rosario's granted by Yasay. 18 June 2019, he applied with Consular; granted revalidation for the stated purpose of a business trip to HK.

- Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) June 24, 2019

'Therefore until such time as we can reconcile the guidelines, all courtesy diplo[matic] passports are deemed cancelled. DFA will issue circular in time. Okay, that's clear,' he added. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)

4. Therefore until such time as we can reconcile the guideliness, all courtesy diplo passports are deemed cancelled. DFA will issue circular in time. Okay, that's clear.

- Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) June 24, 2019

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jun 24, 2019
Words:620
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