Saturday 17 November, 2018
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IPU withdrawal will bolster allegations Duterte silencing opposition – Chiz

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Sen. Chiz Escudero said a proposal seeking the country’s pullout from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) following the organization’s statement of concern over its perception of the human rights record of the administration would only isolate the Philippines from the community of nations.

“Such isolationist policy will not serve the country’s interests both long-term and short-term,” said Escudero in response to the recent proposal made by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

According to Escudero, withdrawing from the IPU, a global organization of lawmakers, will also bolster allegations of political persecution of lawmakers critical to the Duterte administration.

Rather than severing ties with the IPU, Escudero said the government should use the platform as an opportunity to defend its human rights record and clear it name in the international community.

Last March, the Philippines had notified the United Nations that it was pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the latter’s court prosecutor had announced an ongoing examination into allegations that President Duterte and his top officials had committed crimes against humanity in connection with the government’s drug war policy.

“Instead, the government must be able to defend and explain its position before these international organizations and not simply ‘withdraw’ each time it does not go their way,” he said.

However, Escudero said, he is still hoping that the government will still see the advantages of staying with the international parliamentary organization. “I hope the government reconsiders its position to withdraw and decide to simply engage other nations in these international fora and win them over.”

Arroyo attended last October the 139th IPU General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland during which member-states collectively expressed concern over the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines and the persecution of the Duterte administration’s staunchest
critics-detained Senator Leila de Lima and Senator Antonio Trillanes, whose amnesty had been revoked by the government.

The IPU is composed of 178 member parliaments and 12 associate members.

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