PH, French senators join hands vs terrorism, climate change

MANILA-- Philippine and French senators have vowed to cooperate to address two of the greatest threats to humanity at present -- terrorism and climate change.

Sen. Loren Legarda made this statement Friday as a delegation of Philippine senators led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III recently made an official visit to France as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations.

Other members of the delegation include Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance, and Climate Change, and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Joel Villanueva.

Legarda, president and founding member of the Philippines-France Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association, said that the official visit is timely as it is also the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the Philippines and France.

The delegation called on the President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher, and had discussions on terrorism and climate change, among other issues.

Terrorism and climate change are two of the greatest threats to national security at present. France and the Philippines can be partners in addressing these concerns which affect every single one of us, Legarda said.

Legarda said Larcher welcomed the Philippines' ratification of the Paris Agreement, however, was concerned with the United States' withdrawal from the accord.

While both nations agree that the withdrawal of the United States from the Agreement poses a great challenge to the achievement of the treaty's goals, we remain optimistic. The Philippine Senate delegation proposed that France take the lead in efforts to achieve the goals of and implement the Paris Agreement, she said.

The Philippine delegation, meanwhile, explained the current situation in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi City, and assured that the Philippine government would resolve the conflict in the soonest possible time.

They also met with a member of the Constitutional Council, Jean-Jacques Hyest, who explained the key role the Council plays in supervising and monitoring public authorities and ensuring that pieces of legislation adhere to the principles of its constitution.

France has a parliamentary system with two houses in parliament -- Senat (Senate) with 348 members and Assemblee Nationale (National Assembly) with 577 members.

One of the roles of the Constitutional Council, which was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic that was adopted in 1958, is to review the constitutionality of legislation. It supervises and monitors the parliament so that the parliament will not slip into the powers of the executive.

The Philippine Senate delegation also met with the members of the Standing Committee of Law Members as well as with Nicolas Hulot, Minister for Ecological Transition and Solidarity.

Source: Philippines News Agency