Senators say trip to France not a junket
It was not a junket.
A team of eight senators, who went on a three-day trip to France to visit their counterparts in the French parliament, had started listing down what some of them said were results of the trip.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said the Philippine Senate, as a result of the trip, secured the support of French legislators for the Philippines’ fight against terrorism and climate change.
“The visit was not a junket,” Ejercito said.
The French lawmakers, he said, promised to back aid in terms of technology and equipment.
Chance to clarify
The Philippine senators’ trip, Ejercito said, also gave the Filipino legislators the chance to clarify to the French government several issues that had been aired by international media and had put the Philippines in a negative light.
Among these issues were the Duterte administration’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs and legislative moves to revive the death penalty, Ejercito said in a radio interview.
France is a staunch advocate against the death penalty, urging governments around the world to abolish capital punishment.
“The French Senate expressed concern about the reimposition of the death penalty but we also explained to them why some of us are in favor of it and this is because of the drug problem in the country,” he said.
Philippine senators also explained how drug money was funding terrorist activities in Marawi City, he added.
Ejercito said the French Senate promised support for the Philippines’ fight against terrorism.
“It was a very successful visit,” said Sen. Joel Villanueva, another senator who went to France.
The other senators who visited France were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Miguel Zubiri and Sherwin Gatchalian.
Pimentel on Friday said that the visit “definitely strengthened” ties between the French and Philippine Senate.
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