Palace backs GMA recommendation to withdraw from IPU

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday said it supports the recommendation of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to pull out of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) over "intrusion" into the country's sovereignty.

It's the Palace's stance. Ever since this is the stance of the President. We've been hearing him making speeches in the same tone, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace media briefing.

Arroyo, a former President, made the recommendation following the IPU's decision to send an "official mission" to the country to look into the supposed "political persecution" of opposition Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.

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; that is precisely why we do not want them to be doing that, Panelo explained.

Panelo hit the IPU, an international group of lawmakers, for pre-judging the government of President Rodrigo Duterte based on its one-sided investigation on de Lima and Trillanes' cases.

Then they made a finding that it seems to them that there was a violation of human rights, that no due process was given to them. In effect they're saying that our judicial system is not functioning, they are saying that the court that has acquired jurisdiction over de Lima was wrong in determining probable cause. And there's ongoing trial, and then they are saying already that, 'No, they were not given fair trial, Panelo said.

They've been giving pre-judgments. And to our mind, that's an intrusion, an insult, offensive to the decency of this country, as well as an intrusion to our sovereignty, he added.

Last Monday, Panelo called out the IPU for showing no respect on the ongoing proceedings being conducted by the country's local courts and for refusing to hear the side of the government.

He stressed that the Office of the President had no hand in de Lima's arrest since an "independent" court issued the warrant.

We should not forget that the arrest of Senator de Lima stemmed from a warrant issued by an independent and competent court, which found probable cause that she may have committed the crime charged while she was the Justice Secretary, Panelo said in a statement.

He said de Lima's trial is ongoing and it cannot be said she has been denied fundamental rights because she even faces the same with counsels of her choice.

He also justified the proclamation declaring the amnesty given to Trillanes as void, noting that it is anchored on legal justifications.

Panelo asked the IPU to refrain from commenting further in the cases, noting that they could influence the outcome of the cases. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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