Intrusion in internal affairs by EU parliament. Ask Philippines to release Leila de Lima. Malacanang asks EU to mind own business.

Inrusion by foreign powers.

PICS Courtesy: Wikipedia

PICS Courtesy: Wikipedia

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The current world order has many shortcomings that need tackling judiciously so that it is a better place to live. Those with more money, firepower and clout feel they have a right to poke their unwanted noses in other nations’ affairs.

They preach non-interference but are usually the first to break it. This is a way of asserting their supremacy over less fortunate (read less prosperous) nations.

Therefore, it came as a rude jolt to the government of the Philippines when the European Parliament gave a call. They asked the Filipino government to release Ex Senator Leila de Lima from detention.

The reaction from the government was immediate and blunt. The government of the Philippines took serious exception to this unwarranted interference in a purely internal matter of the Philippines.

Hence, the call by the European parliament got the reply it deserved. The Chief Presidential Legal Advisor Salvador Panelo was quick to label it as a foreign intrusion.

That it was a clear affront to the Filipino government and the Duterte administration was evident to all concerned. It also conveyed a surprising insensitivity of the Europeans into the finer issues haunting the Philippines.

In addition, the call was like a censure of the working of the Filipino parliament and its government. Panelo pointed out that it was a deliberate foreign intrusion into the internal functioning of a country’s parliament. He was speaking during a Radio interview earlier today.

Furthermore, he urged the Europeans not to interfere with the internal functioning of their nation.

The statement from Malacanang Palace, the Presidential abode was more abrupt. A Palace spokesperson simply asked the European Parliament to mind its own business.

From the meaningless communication that emanated from the European Parliament, the parliamentarians have proved their ignorance of the Filipino conditions. Moreover, it was an investigation into a criminal offense committed by a citizen of the Philippines within the Philippines.

In addition, it was the Congress in the Philippines that tried her and sentenced her, not a kangaroo court. The parliament followed all the processes of law.

Even the judicial system and the Congress members, some of them legal luminaries, watched the proceedings keenly.
Moreover, just because she is an activist, she is not exempt from the legal provisions that apply to all citizens.

In addition, neither can they interfere with the judicial processes of our county nor dictate the actions required.

EU parliament had expressed their anxiety over the safety of Leila de Lima since activists and journalists face victimization. The EU parliament seems to have relied on somebody’s pressure in taking up the issue.

The EU parliament described her as possessing the highest profile which she does have. They also called her a vehement critic of President Duterte which she is too. But, their last reasoning was far from the realities of this individual case.

Reading between the lines, one gets the idea of the scale of the misunderstanding. Equating the Philippines with a banana republic, they conjured up the vision of a vindictive campaign against de Lima.

They showed their ignorance of conditions in the Philippines by speaking of harassment and victimization by the Duterte administration.

But, just being a human rights advocate is no argument that suggests that you are pure and innocent.

Furthermore, Malacanang hit the nail on the head when they claimed that the EU parliament does not know or understand.

Ernesto Abella also opined that she was being tried for real crimes; there was no persecution by congress.

Leila de Lima is in custody since February 24, since the house committee found her involved in supplying drugs. She surrendered after the authorities issued an arrest warrant for her arrest.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Friday, March 17, 2017