Drilon: Plan to quit IPU shows persecution of critical lawmakers
The plan of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to withdraw from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) implies that critical lawmakers are indeed “being persecuted” under the Duterte administration, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said in a statement issued on Monday.
“Arroyo’s proposal is despairing, defeatist and will be seen by the world as a tacit admission that indeed critical lawmakers are being persecuted under the Duterte administration,” Drilon said.
The IPU is a group of foreign parliamentarians committed to promoting democracy, equality, human rights and peace through political dialogue and concrete action.
Arroyo, according to the senator, “should mind her own and we will mind our own.”
“I oppose the proposal of Arroyo that we withdraw from the IPU just because this global body of parliamentarians expressed its concern over the political persecution of our fellow Senators Leila de Lima and Sonny Trillanes,” he said.
“It is folly for Speaker Arroyo to suggest that the IPU should be punished for performing its mandate to protect fellow members of the legislature from abusive and over-reaching tendencies of certain officials of the executive,” he added.
Drilon, a former chairman of the IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, said respect for human rights — not only of lawmakers but also of ordinary citizens — is “a basic pillar of democracy.”
“We must all do our share to uphold civil and human rights as well as the rule of law, both here and abroad,” Drilon said. /atm
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