Palace backs Arroyo; supports PH withdrawal from IPU

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2018 04:06 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said it backs the proposal of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the Philippines to withdraw from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Arroyo earlier said she would recommend to the Senate the Philippines’ withdrawal from the 178-member organization of national parliaments in wake of its recent comments about the government’s treatment of opposition senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the IPU has been giving premature judgments and comments on De Lima and Trillanes’ cases which, for him, were “offensive to the decency of this country, as well as an intrusion to our sovereignty.”

“From the very start, our position is: No international human rights organization has jurisdiction over us. They have been giving conclusions even prior to the investigations and they’ve been besmirching this country,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

“That is precisely why we do not want them to be doing that. And I support the call of Speaker Arroyo.”

The IPU earlier said it will send an official mission to the Philippines to look into the supposed political persecution of the opposition senators.

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, which she 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Trillanes, meanwhile, is facing coup d'etat and mutiny charges after his amnesty was revoked by President Rodrigo Duterte.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 week, 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.

Arroyo's proposal has drawn flak from opposition lawmakers.