The executive branch will give due consideration to the Senate resolution filed by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to declare motorcycle hailing firm Angkas chief executive officer and Singaporean national Angeline Tham as persona non grata for alleged “high-handed, arrogant and irresponsible acts”, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Guevarra said a legislative resolution, in general, merely expresses sentiment and is usually intended to influence executive action.
“In the case of a resolution seeking to declare an alien as persona non grata, it is the President or the Department of Foreign Affairs who has the sole authority to make such declaration. Although Sen. Pimentel’s proposed resolution is non-binding, the executive department will give it the utmost respect and consideration due to a co-equal branch of government,” Guevarra told reporters.
He said while there must be a formal declaration first by the President or the Department of Foreign Affairs under the country’s immigration laws “any alien may be barred entry by the BI (Bureau of Immigration) for reasons other than being declared persona non grata.”
“As I said, the executive department will give much weight to the Senate resolution, once approved,” he concluded.
Pimentel, in Senate Resolution 287, dated January 16 also urged the Senate to probe Tham’s part in protests held by Angkas riders after the government announced plans to limit their number of riders on the road.
“Tham is merely a guest of our country, yet she is already acting like an oligarch which she seems hell-bent on becoming at our expense,” Pimentel’s resolution read.
He added that Tham’s acts of deriding our sovereign laws are “high-handed, arrogant and irresponsible, which should not be countenanced but condemned to the fullest,” he said.
Angkas’ rally on Dec. 22, 2019 saw thousands of motorcycle riders at the People Power monument who denounced the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s decision to place a 10,000 driver cap on Angkas.
Pimentel also claims Tham is in violation of the 40-percent foreign ownership cap prescribed by the Constitution. (PNA)