Palace backs pullout from IPU

October 23, 2018
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

THE Duterte administration is supporting the call of Speaker Gloria Arroyo for the Philippines to pull out of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a global organization of national parliamentarians.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the IPU made false accusations against the Duterte government concerning the cases of opposition Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The IPU has indicated that the De Lima and Trillanes were the subjects of political persecution.

The IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians called for the release of De Lima “given that no serious evidence appeared to be forthcoming” and called the voiding of the amnesty granted to Trillanes IV—a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte—as a “targeted attempt to silence Trillanes.”

“They have been arriving at conclusions and they have been besmirching this country. I support the call of Speaker Arroyo,” Panelo said.

“IPU is saying that our judicial system is not functioning and that the court that has acquired jurisdiction over De Lima was wrong in determining probable cause. But there is an ongoing trial, and they are saying that they were not given fair trial,” he added.

“IPU has been giving prejudgments and to our minds that’s offensive and an intrusion of our sovereignty. This is the stand of the President and ever since, we have been hearing him making speeches in the same tone,” Panelo said.

The IPU has also called for the release of De Lima, who is detained on drug related charges, because “there is no serious evidence to justify the criminal case” against her.

The majority of witnesses that the government prosecutors lined up against De Lima are inmates of New Bilibid Prisons.

On the other hand, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 on Monday denied the Justice department’s motion to issue an arrest warrant against Trillanes on non-bailable coup de etat charges, with the court ruling that Trillanes submitted his amnesty application and he admitted to committing violations of all laws—which contradicts the ground cited by President Duterte in voiding the amnesty granted to former mutineer Trillanes and other Magdalo soldiers eight years ago.