Palace slams ‘ignorance,’ ‘intrusion’ of int’l legislators on De Lima case
Malacañang slammed on Thursday the “ignorance” and “intrusion” of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in the Philippine judicial affairs after calling for the “immediate” release of detained Sen. Leila de Lima and the dropping of the drug charges filed against her.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the IPU “must educate itself before displaying its total lack of understanding of De Lima’s case.”
“The IPU’s resolution reiterating its concern to the continued trial and detention of Sen. De Lima exposes its ignorance on the workings of the justice system in the Philippines,” Panelo said in a statement.
He maintained that De Lima, who is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP custodial center for drug charges, “was accorded due process.”
“A judge of a court of competent jurisdiction issued a warrant for her arrest after a judicious determination of the existence of a probable cause for a drug-related case filed against her,“ Panelo added.
The IPU, during the 138th Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, adopted a resolution expressing concern against de Lima’s continued detention.
IPU said the senator’s continued detention was “in response to her vocal opposition to President Duterte’s war on drugs, including her denunciation of his alleged responsibility for extrajudicial killings.”
The group also called on the Senate to ensure that De Lima would be allowed to participate in the chamber’s deliberations.
But Panelo said De Lima being a senator cannot shield her from the majesty of the law.
“No one is above the law,” he said.
“IPU’s putting to task the Senate to insure the participation of De Lima in the Senate deliberations is an outright and outrageous intrusion into the internal affairs of the state as well as an affront to our sovereignty,” he added.
The members of the IPU, he said, “should instead focus on the problems of their countries in the matter of violation of human rights as well on the drug menace instead of poking their fingers on a subject they know nothing about.” /jpv
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