IPU pullout Arroyo’s personal vendetta, says De Lima
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima believes that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s proposal to the Senate to withdraw the country from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is 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,” De Lima said in a statement on Friday.
She was referring to the incarceration of the former President during the term of her successor, President Benigno Aquino III.
De Lima said the Speaker was a “known ally” of President Duterte and would “go the extra mile to undermine any international effort in support of [my] plight as the first prominent political prisoner of the President.”
Detained since 2017
The opposition senator has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, since February 2017 on drug charges.
When she was secretary of the Department of Justice during the Aquino administration, De Lima prevented Arroyo from leaving the country for purported medical treatment abroad.
Arroyo had earlier said she would urge senators to withdraw the country’s membership from the IPU.
She made the recommendation after the IPU reiterated its concern over alleged human rights violations against De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, two fierce critics of the Duterte administration.
De Lima also expressed dismay over the reactions to the IPU’s call by some of her colleagues.
Sotto and Lacson
She urged Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson to be “more receptive—instead of dismissive—to the findings and recommendations of the IPU on the political persecution of one of their colleagues.”
“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.
“After all, members of the IPU, like Senators Sotto and Lacson, are legislators … who have certainly earned the right not to be treated with condescension by their Philippine counterparts,” she added.
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