PH Senators Meet French Counterparts, Vow to Work Together Against Terrorism and Climate Change

June 30, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today said that Philippine senators and their French counterparts have vowed to work together to address terrorism and climate change, recognizing that these issues are two of the greatest threats to humanity at present.


A delegation of Philippine senators led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III made an official visit to France as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations. This year is the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the Philippines and France.


The delegation called on the President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher, and had discussions on terrorism and climate change, among other issues.


“Terrorism and climate change are two of the greatest threats to national security at present. France and the Philippines can be partners in addressing these concerns which affect every single one of us,” Legarda said.


Legarda, President and Founding Member of the Philippines-France Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association, said that Larcher expressed appreciation for the Philippines’ ratification of the Paris Agreement and was likewise concerned with the United States’ withdrawal from the accord.


“While both nations agree that the withdrawal of the United States from the Agreement poses a great challenge to the achievement of the treaty’s goals, we remain optimistic. The Philippine Senate delegation proposed that France take the lead in efforts to achieve the goals of and implement the Paris Agreement,” she said, noting France’s successful hosting of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) where the Agreement was adopted.


On the issue of terrorism, Larcher said that the French Senate is undertaking measures to address such grave concern; while the Philippine delegation explained the current situation in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi City, and assured that the Philippine Government is doing its duty to resolve the conflict immediately.


Meanwhile, the Philippine Senate delegation also met with a member of the Constitutional Council, Jean-Jacques Hyest, who explained the key role the Council plays in supervising and monitoring public authorities and ensuring that pieces of legislation adhere to the principles of its constitution.


France has a parliamentary system with two houses in parliament—Senat (Senate) with 348 members and Assemblee Nationale (National Assembly) with 577 members.


One of the roles of the Constitutional Council, which was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic that was adopted in 1958, is to review the constitutionality of legislation. It supervises and monitors the parliament so that the parliament will not slip into the powers of the executive.


The Philippine Senate delegation also met with the members of the Standing Committee of Law Members as well as with Nicolas Hulot, Minister for Ecological Transition and Solidarity.


The delegation was led by Senate President Pimentel and comprised of Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance, and Climate Change, and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Joel Villanueva.