Arroyo to recommend PH withdrawal from IPU

MANILA Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday said she will recommend to the Senate the withdrawal of the Philippines' membership from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Arroyo made the statement following the IPU's decision to send an "official mission" to the country to look into the supposed "political persecution" of Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV. The IPU adopted two resolutions regarding this matter on Oct. 18 in its 139th assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Arroyo headed the Philippine delegation to the assembly.

In an ambush interview after conducting a medical mission in Barangay Escopa, Quezon City, Arroyo recalled how former Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III decried IPU's meddling into the judicial processes of the Philippines.

The Geneva-based organization adopted earlier this year a resolution calling for the immediate release of de Lima and end the legal proceedings against her unless there is serious evidence against her.

"Well, you know the last time there was an IPU and then Senate President Koko Pimentel was head of delegation and he decried the interference of the IPU in our judicial processes. This time, over the objection of the Philippine delegation, again they did the same thing so since this is the second time they did it to my knowledge, I am recommending to the Senate which heads the delegation that we should withdraw our membership with the IPU," Arroyo said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the IPU's decision as unfortunate as it was an intervention of domestic affairs.

We find it unfortunate that another prying organization has once again cast aspersion on the integrity of the legal processes of our country, Panelo said in a press statement.

Panelo said the Office of the President considered the resolutions adopted by the IPU and its subsequent decisions on the two senators' cases 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.

IPU is a global organization of parliamentarians from 178 member-states. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency