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Resolution unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 187th session
(Geneva, 6 October 2010)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes of the Philippines, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/187/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 186th session (April 2010),

Recalling the following: Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes was arrested in July 2003 and charged with an attempted coup d’état; while in detention, he was allowed to stand in the May 2007 Senate elections and was elected, having obtained the 11th highest number of votes; his detention conditions prevent him from participating meaningfully in the work of the Senate and exercising his mandate; the Senate has consequently sought to amend its Rules to allow Senator Trillanes to participate in its work; in November 2008, a majority of Senators proposed Resolution No. 765 “Amending the rules of the Senate by incorporating a rule to allow Senators to participate in Senate sessions, hearings and/or meetings through remote or electronic means …”; in its report on the Resolution, the Senate Committee on Rules recommended a modification of the Resolution and the amended Resolution was being circulated for signature before being submitted to the Senate plenary for full and final deliberation, which has not as yet taken place,

Considering that, on 23 August 2010, the Senate adopted Resolution 7 to express anew the feeling of the Senate that Senator Trillanes should “be transferred to the custody of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms in order to allow him to attend and participate in the session and other official functions of the Senate, in accordance with the mandate clearly bestowed upon him by the more than 12 million Filipinos who voted for him in the May 2007 elections”; noting, moreover, that efforts are under way with a view to having Senator Trillanes amnestied; that the Senate is in the process of adopting an amnesty law to this effect which will have to be submitted to the Head of State for ratification,

Recalling its concerns regarding the conformity of Senator Trillanes’s preventive detention - having now lasted more than 7 years - with the international human rights norms governing detention, and noting in this respect that, according to various sources, almost all the co-accused of Senator Trillanes have meanwhile been released on bail,

Bearing in mind lastly that legislative and presidential elections took place in the Philippines in May 2010, that the newly elected Congress convened on 26 July 2010 and that the new Government under President Benigno Aquino III has taken office,

  1. Commends the Senate for the initiatives it has taken to defend the rights of one of its members;

  2. Is gratified by the prospect of Senator Trillanes being granted an amnesty as this would finally put an end to a situation which not only prevented him from exercising his parliamentary mandate effectively but also deprived his electors of representation in parliament, which situation can but prejudice the representative function of parliament;

  3. Requests the Secretary General to inform the authorities of its support of the granting of an amnesty to Senator Trillanes;

  4. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 124th IPU Assembly (April 2011), when it hopes to be able to close this case in view of its satisfactory settlement.
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