Focus on drug deaths, European socialists urge Duterte
The Party of European Socialists has called on the Philippine government to “focus on the issue at hand: the alarming cases of killings.”
The statement, coursed through the office of Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin who hosted their human rights mission, was in response to President Duterte’s Thursday speech attacking the European Union and directing its member-states’ ambassadors to leave in 24 hours.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella played down Mr. Duterte’s tirade and blamed the Progressive Alliance-PES delegation for “falsely portray[ing] itself as an EU mission.”
In the aftermath of the tirade, PES said “strong international relations require an unwavering commitment to human rights and democracy.”
It also assured Mr. Duterte: “The international community is prepared to support a better way in tackling the drug problem which does not compromise fundamentals and conventions on human rights.”
PES also reiterated that it was alarmed by the detention of Senator Leila de Lima on drug charges and the filing of wiretapping and kidnapping complaints against Senator Risa Hontiveros, describing these as “tantamount to political harassment to those who criticize the inhumane approach on President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.”
It concluded: “The PA-PES delegation recommends urgent action to the Philippine government, the civil society and the international community to stop the killings and political persecution.”
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