De Lima ‘disappointed’ over senators’ rejection of IPU’s recommendations
“I view with disappointment the harsh reactions of my colleagues.”
This was Sen. Leila de Lima’s reply to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s dismissal of the call of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the Senate to probe political persecutions in the country.
The IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians asked the Senate to investigate the human rights violations of the Duterte administration against Senators De Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Lacson said the IPU must show respect for the country’s legislative and judicial processes.
Meanwhile, Sotto questioned the IPU’s request, saying “how on earth can they think they can meddle with a member-country’s judicial process?”
De Lima said the senators must be “more open and more receptive” to IPU’s petition.
“As their fellow senator, I would like to think that they would be more receptive and open to the findings and recommendations of the IPU on the political persecution of one of their colleagues,” she said on Wednesday in a dispatch from Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The detained senator also advised Lacson and Sotto to read IPU reports to understand that the organization did not “blindly” come up with “findings and recommendations on her and Trillanes’ situation.”
“Rather than criticize and disrespect this international organization of legislators, Senators Sotto and Lacson might do better to at least do an insightful reading of the IPU reports in order to understand where the IPU is coming from,” she said.
She said Lacson should be “interested in looking into another case of political persecution” because he was once a fugitive. The Arroyo administration had accused him of involvement in the murders of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver.
She ventured to say, however, that Lacson’s enmity against her may have surfaced because she was the Justice Secretary when she pursued him while he evaded his arrest.
“Unless, of course, his personal feelings of enmity against me for pursuing him while he evaded arrest have forever clouded his judgment, and now precludes him from deciding based on principles that he himself proclaimed to be fighting for during his rather long bout with the law,” the senator said.
De Lima also said House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s petition for the Philippines to withdraw from the IPU was “unexpected” and might be a personal vendetta against her.
“Arroyo’s personal vendetta against me for her detention on electoral sabotage and plunder charges is not yet over, and is not about to end soon. She will continue to undermine any international effort in support of my plight as a political prisoner of President Duterte, who also just happens to be her major ally and personal savior from political ignominy,” De Lima, the Justice Secretary during Arroyo’s plunder charges in 2012, said. /ee
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