Fariñas: I’m Filipino, ‘persona non grata’ only for foreigners
MANILA — House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has vowed to file graft complaints against the Ilocos Norte provincial board members who declared him a persona non grata of his home province.
In a message to reporters, he said he would seek criminal charges against the provincial legislators for causing undue injury to him through “evident bad faith.” He added that he would sue for damages for the “violation of my constitutional rights.”
Fariñas said the provincial board could not declare him, being a citizen of the Philippines, persona non grata. He said such a declaration could only apply to aliens in the context of diplomatic relations.
“I am a citizen of this country and no one, especially the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, can declare me, or any other citizen of this country, a persona non grata. Not even convicted criminals are declared as such,” he said. “I am the duly elected representative of the first district of Ilocos Norte,and the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.”
Asked if this development would affect his constituents in the province’s First District, he said: “Not really. It would only affect those who voted for [the declaration] as I will file cases against them.”
Fariñas acknowledged that in non-diplomatic usage, a persona non grata would be deemed ostracized.
“Such a person is for all intents and purposes culturally shunned, so as to be figuratively non-existent. That is what those 8 have done to me!” he said. SFM