House panel wants PH to withdraw from international union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; French: Union Interparlementaire [UIP]) is a global inter-parliamentary institution established in 1889 by Frédéric Passy (France) and William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom). It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. The national parliaments of 178 countries (the last three member countries are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu; Memberships were given during its 137th conference) are members of the IPU, and 12 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

SOURCE: Inter-Parliamentary Union. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The House Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy chaired by Rep. Eric Singson (2nd District, Ilocos Sur) on Tuesday approved House Resolution 2270, entitled, “Resolution Expressing Support of the House of Representatives for the Withdrawal of the Membership of the Philippines from the Inter-Parliamentary Union”.

Singson started the meeting with a brief history of the IPU, saying that the Philippines' membership in the said organization started in 1947.

He said that after suspensions due to the dissolution of Congresses in 1973 and in 1986, the Philippines was finally readmitted in October of 1987 during the 78th IPU conference in Bangkok, Thailand with then Senate President Jovito Salonga as president of the Philippine National Group.

Singson described the IPU as an international organization of parliaments which supports the objectives and efforts of the United Nations (UN) and works in close cooperation with it.

“Together with the UN, it works to advance specific issues through joint cooperation activities, publications and meetings," he said.

The resolution was filed by Minority Leader Danilo Suarez (3rd District, Quezon) after former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recommended the withdrawal of the Philippine membership from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Singson narrated that last October, the House of Representatives attended the 139th IPU Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland with the Speaker leading the delegation composed of seven members.

“During the preparations, the Speaker personally instructed the members to ensure that all conferences that will take up issues and concerns of national interest must be covered,” Singson said.
He said that as always, the House, true to its commitment to the ideals of the IPU, was an active participant in the efforts of IPU, and a supportive member to its objectives and goals.

“However, after the conference, a statement by the Speaker on the withdrawal of the Philippine membership from the IPU headlined the news and immediately after,” Singson explained.

In his sponsorship remarks, Suarez explained the IPU was created with a vision of protecting and strengthening democracy and building strong national parliaments that can deliver on issues like health, sustainable development, peace, security and many more.

He related that in October 2018, the IPU released a resolution on its investigation of the criminal case filed against Senator Leila de Lima.

Suarez said the IPU also issued statements recommending the intervention on the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Clearly the IPU stepped out of its boundaries with its interference in the country’s judicial processes which runs counter to the principle of state sovereignty,” he remarked.

He cited a provision in the 1987 Constitution which provides that the state shall pursue an independent foreign policy wherein its relations with other states shall primarily consider national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest and the right to self-determination.

“In fact, Speaker Arroyo recommended the withdrawal of the Philippine membership from the IPU after it expressed its intention to visit the country to investigate further on the cases of the said government officials,” Suarez said.

Present in the meeting were Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Ramon Durano VI, Reps. Tricia Velasco-Catera, Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay, Jesus Nonato Sacdalan, Mark Aeron Sambar, Erico Aumentado, Arlene Arcillas, Scott Davies Lanete, and Micaela Violago and Executive Director Corazon Alano who represented House Secretary-General Roberto Maling.

SOURCE: Ma. Victoria Palomar (2018). Panel approves resolution expressing support for the withdrawal of the Philippine membership from IPU. PRESS RELEASES SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau.