Middlesome Yanks

April 12, 2019

Mind your own business, indeed!

The rebuke was stunning as it is expected.

After all, the Senate is fiercely independent of the other main branches of the government but also watchful, if not downright suspicious, of foreign personalities, parties and entities.

This is in step with its oversight powers on foreign relations. The Senate has the sole power to ratify treaties with foreign governments.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and two colleagues filed late Wednesday a resolution rebuking some members of the United States Congress for interfering with the Philippine judicial process via two proposed resolutions.

Introducing Senate Resolution 1037 along with Sotto were Senators Panfilo M. Lacson and Gregorio B. Honasan II.

Lacson emphasized Sen. Leila de Lima and Maria Ressa, whose release the proposed US resolutions sought, are "incidental" to the intent of the Philippine Senate resolution.

"Sen. de Lima and Ms. Ressa are but incidental to the intent of this resolution. They are entitled to fair justice and judgment by the courts handling their cases. But what we need to point out is that supremacism has no place in a civilized world regardless of race, color and status in wealth and power." Lacson stressed.

Earlier, Lacson said a Philippine Senate resolution is needed to call out the US solons behind the "inappropriate" resolutions.

"We are not their colony. We have a Constitution that provides for three co-equal branches and a judicial system where due process is followed, regardless of its flaws and weaknesses," Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account last Sunday.

Senate Resolution 1037 particularly scored the US solons' proposed Resolutions 233 and 142 for "being an affront to the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines and an undue interference in its judicial process."

"(I)t is submitted that the said Resolutions are highly inappropriate and unbefitting, considering that the Philippines is no longer a vassal or a colony of the United States of America but a sovereign state and a member of the family of nations governed by its own municipal laws and the generally accepted principles of international law," it read.

Both US Congress resolutions had sought to condemn the Philippine government for its continued detention of Sen. de Lima, and called for her immediate release.

House Resolution No. 233, filed last March 14, was authored by Reps. Karen Lorraine Jacqueline Speier of California's 14th Congressional District; James Patrick McGovern of Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District; Hank Calvin Johnson, Jr. of Georgia's 4th Congressional District; Jamin Ben Raskin of Maryland's 8th Congressional District; Bradley James Sherman of California's 30th Congressional District; and Lloyd Alton Dogget II of Texas' 35th Congressional District.