International lawyers’ body hit for meddling in Philippine affairs

October 22, 2018
Rodrigo R. Duterte

MALACAÑANG yesterday slammed a global organization of lawmakers  which it said insulted the Philippines’ justice system by expressing “deep” concern over President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty and planning a fact-finding mission on the controversy.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in its 139th assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, said it is eyeing a visit to the Philippines to look into the government’s possible violation of Trillanes’ rights.

The IPU also lamented the detention of Sen. Leila De Lima.

Malacañang rejected this, insisting that Proclamation No 572, which sought to void the senator’s amnesty, is “anchored on legal justifications.”

“We find it unfortunate that another prying organization has once again cast aspersion on the integrity of the legal processes of our country,” said Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo yesterday.

Describing the IPU’s resolutions during their assembly as an “affront to the core of our State’s principles,” he branded the group’s acts as interference.

“We consider such actions as interventions of our domestic affairs for they do not only show the Philippines in a bad light in front of the global community but worse, such one-sided evaluations infringe on our sovereignty,” said Panelo.

Panelo said that detained Sen. Leila De Lima’s arrest stemmed from a warrant “issued by an independent and competent court.”

Panelo claimed the IPU “does not respect the ongoing proceedings being conducted by our courts of justice” and accused it of arriving at a conclusion about the Trillanes and De Lima cases “even without hearing the side of the Philippine Government.”

However, the IPU had said in its resolution that Filipino authorities in the legislative branch did not respond to their requests for information.

The IPU, established in 1889, has 171 member parliaments, which “promote democracy, equality, human rights, development, and peace.”