Palace hits IPU’s ‘biased’ probe on de Lima, Trillanes cases

MANILAMalacaAang on Monday slammed the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a Geneva-based organization of foreign parliaments, after it announced its intention to probe government cases against Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the IPU's decision to send an official mission to the Philippines to look into the two senators' cases 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.

He pointed out that the IPU did not respect ongoing proceedings being conducted by local courts and did not even hear the side of the government.

Panelo also tagged the IPU as biased since its actions showed opposite to adherence to the rule of law and due process.

The act of publishing its findings even before conducting its intended probe already exposes how biased this organization is. Hence, we raise doubts as to the organization's competency, integrity and invulnerability to political pressures, Panelo said.

Panelo 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.

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.

She even remains vocal up to this day thereby disclosing that her freedom to express whatever she feels remains unhampered, Panelo said.

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

The amnesty granted to him due to his involvement in rebellion and coup d'etat proceeded from a defective process. It is thus for the government to issue orders protective of the State and its people, and up to Senator Trillanes and his capable lawyers to defend whatever rights, if any, he has, Panelo said.

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

He added that the cases are now pending before the local courts.

He also assured the IPU or any global organization that the country's justice system remains independent, effective, and functioning.

The wheels of justice have started to grind, and the two lawmakers have been accorded due process and would continue to be given their respective days in court. Having said this, our State does not need guidance or directives from strangers. We can do well on our own, Panelo said.(PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency