Pimentel hits int’l legislators group: You don’t understand our Constitution

With the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) insinuation to Senators urging them to ‘Act in Solidarity’ with Senator Leila De Lima, Senate President Koko Pimentel is otherwise dismayed by the ‘unfortunate’ lack of understanding of the legislative body to the Philippine Constitution.
The IPU cited that Senator De Lima has never been arraigned since the time all 3 cases were filed against her and called on Pimentel to finally ‘act in solidarity’ with their colleague.
The international legislative body likewise sought approbation from the government to ‘immediately’ drop charges against the detained Senator judging by the lack of serious evidence to justify accusations against her.

Senator Pimentel lamented through a text message sent to INQUIRER.net that reads: “It’s unfortunate that the IPU doesn’t understand the Philippine Constitution.”

“That’s their problem not ours”, he added.

He (Pimentel) was compelled to compare parliamentarians from other countries as they have their own immunity from arrest which only the parliament itself can waive. The Philippines, however, does not follow the same rule.

“If they insist that we observe their rules then they are insulting us and not respecting our sovereignty to determine our own rules. Our basic rules can be found in our Constitution,” Pimentel said.

With objection against IPU’s counsel to ‘act in solidarity’ with De Lima, Pimentel said: “(Senator) De Lima has a battery of seasoned and well-known lawyers. Let them work on her release and her opportunity to attend Senate sessions. Remember that she is facing drug charges. Keep the Senate out of the drug or corruption cases of its current or former members.”

The international legislative body, however, created a resolution especially aimed at ensuring De Lima’s full-participation in Senate hearings as a ‘duly-elected’ lawmaker which was honored on Thursday, as it culminates its 138th Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

An excerpt of the resolution stated that: “[The IPU] considers that the Senate has a special responsibility to help ensure that its colleagues participate in its deliberations and to speak out when they face reprisals for their work,”

“[It] regrets therefore that the Senate has not been able to take a firm stance in favor of Senator de Lima’s direct participation in the Senate’s most important work,” it also stated.


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