Press Release
October 23, 2017

Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Reaction to the "IPU is a Bully"
Claim of Sec. Martin Andanar

23 October 2017

"Bully" raw ang IPU, sabi ni Andanar.

The action by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) of sending a trial observer to monitor my cases earned the ire of Andanar and his minions who characterized the move as bullying and meddling in our judicial and democratic processes. This conclusion once again reveals Andanar's utter ignorance and sheer arrogance.

Isa na naman itong paandar ni Andanar.

The designation of a trial observer forms part and parcel of the accused and the public's right to speedy, impartial and public trial. Trial observation can be a crucial tool in efforts to defend human rights and the primacy of the rule of law. The right to observe stems from the general right to promote and secure the protection and realization of human rights. A trial observer is therefore part of our democratic and judicial processes.

Kung sa bagay, ano ba naman ang aasahan natin kay Andanar at sa amo nya sa mga usapin ng "human rights" at "rule of law".

Hindi ba sya ang nagsabing wala raw extrajudicial killings sa bansa dahil wala naman daw judicial killings kasi wala pa naman daw death penalty? Hindi ba sya rin ang nagsabi na sinuhulan ng tig-$1,000 ang kada reporter na dumalo sa prescon ni SPO3 Arturo Lascanas? Hindi ba siya rin ang nagbigay ng gradong "outstanding" sa sarili nyang amo noong nakaraang SONA?

Kung kay Andanar ay wala pang extrajudicial killings kahit ito ay alam na halos ng lahat; kung kay Andanar ay ugali ang pagtsitsismis at pananakot sa media kahit alam naman nya ang totoo at tama; kung si Andanar ay walang habas ang pagpapasipsip kay Duterte kahit sa harap ng mga polisiya nito ng pagpatay, pagsisinungaling at pagyurak sa karapatang pantao: baka naman iba ang depinisyon niya ng salitang "bully."

Kahit ang totoong bully ay walang iba kundi ang kanyang Katay Digong.

A "bully" is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. In the balance of power relations and of control over the state apparatus of terror and violence, Duterte and his cohorts have the monopoly. With their consistent and persistent pronouncements and public demeanor that enable a climate of disorientation, despotism and death (translated into more than 13,000 EJKs, persecution and vilification of dissenters, narrowing of democratic spaces, and widespread fake news), the bully here is definitely not the IPU, not the democratic opposition, not the media, and not the growing numbers of Filipinos and various local and international groups clamoring for the restoration of decency in government, democracy in society, and dignity of the Filipino.

And, if we may further engage Andanar in his "IPU as bully" line, we can add that the decision of that global organization of 176 parliaments to send a trial observer was arrived at after a painstaking and thorough gathering of evidence and a fact-finding mission to the Philippines. The Mission Report concluded, among others, that:

"[T]here is no evidence to justify the criminal cases against Senator de Lima. It therefore calls on the relevant authorities to release her immediately and to seriously consider abandoning the legal proceedings... Should the criminal cases against Senator de Lima proceed, the delegation recommends that an IPU trial observer should monitor and report on respect for fair trial standards." (Emphasis supplied.)

The IPU Mission to the Philippines last May was highlighted by a series of meetings with several Malacañang allies in the Senate (Senate President Pimentel, Majority Floor Leader Sotto, and Senators Gordon and Lacson) and in the House (Speaker Alvarez, Majority Leader Farinas, and Cong. Umali). The IPU delegates were also to discuss with high officials of the DOJ (Usec Orceo and Prosec. Ong) and the PNP (Deputy Director General Apolinario, and the directors for intelligence and headquarters support services). None of these authorities complained of being bullied by the IPU.

These facts are all reflected in the mission report of the IPU Human Rights Committee, endorsed by the Governing Council, and adopted in the General Assembly last October 18 in Russia.

IPU is not the bully here. It is a neutral third party that wants to make sure the legal proceedings in the trumped-up cases against me are safe from further machinations of Duterte and his minions, the real bullies.

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