Palace blasts EU anew for interfering with PH affairs
Where are the 12,000 drug war deaths?
Malacañang hit back on Friday at the European Parliament for issuing a resolution urging the Philippines to stop its war on drugs, claiming it is marred by alleged extrajudicial killings and human rights violations.
The EU Parliament also called on the Philippines to release Sen. Leila de Lima and give her a fair trial and remove the terrorists tag against human rights defenders in the country.
“We of course find it unfortunate that members of the European Parliament once again interfered with the affairs of the Philippine state, rehashing issues and baseless claims that have been explained adequately by the Philippine government in several official statements. ,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
In their latest resolution, the EU Parliament also noted the death of 12,000 individuals in President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.
Roque reiterated that the Duterte administration does not engage in extrajudicial killings.
“Ang sabi po nila, 12,000 na raw po ang namatay. Nasaan po iyong mga bangkay, at nasaan po iyong mga demanda ng mga 12,000 victims? Roque asked.
“Kakaunti lang po ang alam naming mga demanda tungkol dito sa mga patayan na ito, and we of course challenge them – saan po iyong mga datos, saan ang ebidensiya na 12,000 ang namatay na?” he added.
Roque reiterated that the government does not tolerate impunity.
“Impunity does not have a place in our society and we continue to follow due process and hold officers accountable for their actions,” he said.
“Hindi po natin kinukusinti ang mga patayan. Ang ating mga institusyon ay gumagalaw po para bigyan ng implementasyon ang ating batas laban sa patayan (We do not tolerate these deaths. Our institutions are working to implement the laws against killings),” he added.
The war on drugs under the Duterte administration has received international condemnation from rights groups for alleged human rights abuses by police authorities.
De Lima arrest legal
Roque also slammed the EU Parliament, saying the arrest and detention of de Lima followed strict legal procedures.
“The arrest and detention of Senator Leila De Lima on illegal drug charges which follows strict legal procedures has even been declared legal with finality by the Supreme Court of the Philippines,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked the plea for reconsideration of De Lima to nullify the arrest warrant against her issued by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Juanita Guerrero.
“Ngayong linggo lang po ito, Korte Suprema na ang nagbasura noong Motion for Reconsideration ni Leila De Lima na kinukuwestiyon iyong legalidad ng information laban sa kaniya. Ano pong gagawin natin? Korte Suprema na nagsabi, dalawang beses; hindi lang isang beses na legal ‘yan,” Roque said.
The Palace official said the judicial system in the Philippines is working.
“Gumagana po ang hudikatura dito sa Pilipinas, hindi po naimpluwensiyahan ng mga pulitiko ang mga lower courts at ang Korte Supreme dito sa Pilipinas dahil ngayon po, menorya pa lang ang naa-appoint na mga justices ng ating Pangulo sa Supreme Court,” he said.
He daid the executive branch does not interfere with the decision of the judiciary.
Roque said human rights defenders tagged as terrorist by the government were being given due process and the right to be heard.
“United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is included in the list of terrorist because of intelligence information. Ms. Corpuz can submit controverting evidence linking her with the terrorist group, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army,” he said.
He said Corpuz was not yet a terrorist as her case was still in court.
“Hindi pa naman siya nababansagang terorista; kinakailangan munang magkaroon ng order sa hukuman. So binibigyan po siya ng due process, bibigyan po siya ng pagkakataon na marinig. Magsumite po siya ng ebidensiya na hindi siya terorista, at pabayaan natin ang hukuman magdesisyon,” he said.
Roque said it would be the court and not foreigner lawmakers who would decide and whether Corpuz would be tagged as a terrorist.
“We thus call on the members of the European Parliament to exercise prudence in issuing resolutions,” he said.
“We understand a number of whom have close ties with the local political opposition who tried to distort realities that we have a working democracy, where people now enjoy peace and order,” he added.
PH removal from UN
Roque also addressed the plan of the EU Parliament for the removal of the Philippines from the UN Human Rights Council.
“Well that’s not a decision to be made by the European parliament. That’s a decision to be made by the UN system itself. The members of the UN Human Rights Council are elected by the general assembly, that’s a call to be made by the general assembly,” he said.