Philippine Senate urged, ‘act in solidarity’ with De Lima
An organization of legislators worldwide has implored the Philippine Senate to take steps in ensuring detained Senator Leila De Lima could fulfill her duties as an elected lawmaker by letting her participate in Senate deliberations.
In a resolution, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) expressed regret over the Senate’s failure to “take a firm stance” in favor of De Lima.
The IPU adopted the resolution on Thursday, as it closed its 138th Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
“[The IPU] considers that the Senate has a special responsibility to help ensure that its colleagues participate in its deliberations and to speak out when they face reprisals for their work,” the IPU stated in its resolution.
“[It] regrets therefore that the Senate has not been able to take a firm stance in favor of Senator de Lima’s direct participation in the Senate’s most important work,” it added.
The resolution was based on the decisions by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and adopted by the IPU Governing Council.
The organization called on the Senate, through Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, to “finally” act in solidarity with its colleague.
“[The IPU] sincerely hopes that the Senate, under the leadership of its President, will finally be able to act in solidarity with its colleague,” it stated.
The international body likewise called on the government to “immediately” free the Senator and drop the cases against her, believing there is “no serious evidence” that justify the accusations against De Lima.
De Lima has been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City for a year now over allegations of receiving drug money from drug lords at the National Bilibid Prison to fund her 2016 senatorial campaign.
The IPU noted that De Lima has not been arraigned in any of the three cases filed against her before Branch 205 of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court.
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