MANILA - Malacañang on Monday said members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are not welcome in the Philippines, accusing the group of being biased towards opposition senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.
The IPU earlier said it will send an official mission to the Philippines to look into the supposed political persecution of the opposition senators.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said, the probe may just be a farce as the group seemed to already made a conclusion about the matter.
“Ang problema diyan sa Interparliamentary, sabi nila, mag-iimbestiga sila. Pero mayroon na silang conclusion e, na para daw inaapi, parang biktima ng injustice. Bakit mayroon ka na kaagad na conclusion, hindi ka pa nag-iimbestiga,” Panelo told RMN.
(The problem with Inter-Parliamentary Union is they said they will investigation but they already have a conclusion - that the senators are being oppressed and are victims of injustice. Why was there a conclusion already?)
“I don’t think they’re welcome here, manggugulo lang sila (they will just cause trouble).”
De Lima, a fierce critic of the administration's anti-narcotics crackdown, has been detained since February 2017 for allegedly pocketing payoffs from convicted drug lords, an accusation she has repeatedly denied.
Trillanes, meanwhile, is facing coup d'etat and mutiny charges after his amnesty was revoked by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The IPU, in its 139th assembly in Geneva, Switzerland last Thursday, adopted two resolutions expressing deep concern over the supposed human rights violations against the two lawmakers.
The issue warrants "an urgent follow-up visit by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians," read the resolution on De Lima’s case.
The IPU “remains disturbed at the public campaign of vilification by the highest state authorities” against De Lima, who has been portrayed as an “immoral woman” and as “guilty," it added.
At the same time, the IPU said the "sudden" questioning of Trillanes' amnesty "give[s] serious weight to the allegation that this is a targeted attempt to silence."
In a separate statement, Panelo described IPU as a “prying organization” which has “cast aspersion on the integrity of the legal processes of our country.”
Panelo said the Office of the President finds the resolutions adopted by the IPU as an “affront to the core of our State’s principles.”
“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,” Panelo said.
“It is apparent that this organization of foreign parliamentarians does not respect the ongoing proceedings being conducted by our courts of justice when it reached an incredible conclusion on the cases involving Senators de Lima and Trillanes. Unsurprisingly, it reached such conclusion even without hearing the side of the Philippine Government.”