Malacañang on Saturday branded the move by the Inter-Parliamentary Union to send an observer to monitor and report on the case of Senator Leila De Lima as a “classic example of bullying.”
In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar slammed IPU for “meddling” in the country’s internal affairs.
“The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s recommendation to send an observer to monitor the case of Senator Leila de Lima is a classic example of bullying,” Andanar said.
“We should stand up to this kind of meddling into our domestic affairs,” he added.
Andanar said that their intent is not to merely observe De Lima’s trial by our laws, “but to meddle in our democratic as well as judicial processes,”
“Over and over, pronouncements from the IPU portray the Philippines as a lawless nation when there is abundant evidence to the contrary,” he added.
In its report, the IPU delegation raised doubts about the evidence or lack thereof against De Lima to support the filing of the cases against her.
They likewise aired its concern over the statements of President Duterte, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and other officials against De Lima that it claimed were meant to portray her as guilty even before the trial started.
The delegation called for her immediate release from detention and for the authorities to consider dropping the charges against her.
If the trial would proceed, then the delegation urged due process should be accorded to De Lima.
De Lima is presently detained at Camp Crame, Quezon City for alleged complicity in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, the proceeds of which she was accused of using for her senatorial campaign.