'Prying' of global lawmakers into Trillanes case an 'affront' – Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said a global organization of lawmakers insulted the Philippines' justice system by expressing "deep" concern over President Rodrigo Duterte's voiding of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty and planning a fact-finding mission on the controversy.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in its 139th assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, said it is eyeing a visit to the Philippines to look into the government's possible violation of Trillanes' rights.

Malacañang did not take this well, insisting that Proclamation No 572, which sought to void the senator's amnesty, is "anchored on legal justifications."

"We find it unfortunate that another prying organization has once again cast aspersion on the integrity of the legal processes of our country," said Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday, October 22.

Describing the IPU's resolutions during their assembly as an "affront to the core of our State’s principles," he branded the group's acts as interference.

"We consider such actions as interventions of our domestic affairs for they do not only show the Philippines in a bad light in front of the global community but worse, such one-sided evaluations infringe on our sovereignty," said Panelo.

He repeated Malacañang's usual line when fighting allegations that Duterte is abusing his powers to silence fierce critics. Panelo insisted that courts are hearing Trillanes' case and that the senator has lawyers who will defend his rights there.

Because the IPU again raised their concern about detained senator Leila de Lima, Panelo repeated that De Lima's arrest stemmed from a warrant "issued by an independent and competent court."

Panelo claimed the IPU "does not respect the ongoing proceedings being conducted by our courts of justice" and accused it of arriving at a conclusion about the Trillanes and De Lima cases "even without hearing the side of the Philippine Government."

However, the IPU had said in its resolution that Filipino authorities in the legislative branch did not respond to their requests for information.

The IPU, established in 1889, has 171 member parliaments, which "promote democracy, equality, human rights, development, and peace." – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.