Solon: Where was IPU when Arroyo was jailed?

November 02, 2018

A HOUSE leader has asked the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to explain why it was very silent when former President-turned Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was allegedly persecuted politically by the previous administration.

This was stressed by Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero “Butch” Pichay in supporting the position of Arroyo for the Philippines to withdraw its membership to the IPU following the organization’s continued interference to the country’s internal and judicial affairs.

“Where was the IPU when Speaker Arroyo was unjustly jailed for five years without any valid charges? Are they playing political partisanship?” Pichay asked.

Like Arroyo, Pichay objected to IPU’s “intention to visit the country in order to investigate further on the cases” of detained lawmakers, including the cases of Sens. Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes.

“Why is the IPU interfering in the cases involving Senators De Lima and Trillanes when the same judicial processes as what used had been used against Speaker Arroyo are the ones being applied in their cases. Unlike the IPU, our laws and judicial processes do not discriminate. I fully support the Speaker’s call to withdraw from the IPU because it serves no serious purpose but to interfere in the legal and judicial processes of member-parliaments while doing nothing on the real injustices committed on many of its members,” said Pichay.

“Sovereignty of a country should be beyond the reach of any international body or organization. If the Speaker of the House of Representatives feels that our sovereignty has been violated and has moved to defend it, that should be respected. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is quick to defend Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes but when the rights of the former President and now Speaker of the House were violated as ruled by no less than the United Nations, the IPU was quiet. How come?” Pichay added.

Led by House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, the bloc filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2270 backing the recommendation of Arroyo for the Senate to withdraw from IPU, a global organization of national parliamentarians from 178-member states.

“The IPU stepped outside its boundaries with its interference in the country’s judicial processes which runs counter to the principle of state sovereignty,” said the two-page resolution.