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United States blocks entry of former congress member

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : A former member of the Philippine congress, Liza Largoza Maza, was denied boarding rights to a flight destined for the United States of America (US) on July 9 this year.

Formerly a representative of the Gabriela Women’s Party in the congress, Maza had cleared Philippine immigration at Manila airport on her way to the US, but was prevented from boarding Korean Airlines flight 622 by the ground crew, who told her that they had received an email from the US Homeland Security Customs Border Protection telling them not to allow her to board the plane.

The airline officials refused to furnish her or officials from the Philippine Immigration Department with a copy of the email, telling her that it was not for dissemination and was to be kept from the eyes of any a third party.

Currently the chairperson of the International Women’s Alliance, Maza was travelling to the US to testify as an expert witness on US intervention in the Asia-Pacific region before a panel of the International People’s Tribunal in Washington DC from July 16 to 18.

She was to address the topic of US intervention in the affairs of The Philippines through the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defence Cooperative Agreement, both of which are regarded as lop-sided agreements by Filipino rights advocates.

The International People’s Tribunal is a body made up of human rights defenders, peace and justice advocates, lawyers, jurists, academics and Church personnel.

It intends to put the presidents of the US and The Philippines, Barack Obama and Noynoy Aquino, on trial on charges of committing human rights violations against the Filipino people.

Maza also believes that recent times have seen a heightened level of US military influence, presence and activity on Philippine soil.

A press release from the Gabriela Women’s Party in Hong Kong says that the blocking of Maza, in a manner that violated her right to travel and trampled on the sovereignty of The Philippines by ignoring its immigration authorities is an unashamed intervention in Philippine affairs.

It describes the action of the US government as paranoid.

The Bayan International Solidarity officer, Rita Baua, said, “In the guise of national security, they prohibit people from speaking the truth about their government’s complicity in the gross human rights violations being committed by their puppet Aquino regime.” 

The press release points out that the US has labelled The Philippines as its Second Front in its War Against Terror.

“Those rallying in the streets, working on pro-people bills as legislators in parliament, or waging revolutionary war in the countryside against US imperialism—have been targeted as terrorists and have been eliminated through killings, torture, surveillance, arrests and detention,” the press release says.

During her time in the congress, Maza authored dozens of bills, among them the Rent Control Act of 2009 and the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. 

She also co-authored the Magna Carta of Women, the Philippine Nursing Act and the Anti-Torture Law, as well as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act.


In the guise of
national security,
they prohibit people from speaking the truth about their
government’s
complicity in the
gross human rights

violations being

 

committed by their puppet Aquino regime