Cayetano hits European Parliament for reso vs. war on drugs

MANILA Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has slammed the European Parliament for its unwarranted and uncalled for actions against the Philippines after it adopted a resolution that "already constitutes interference" in Manila's internal affairs.

The European Parliament has crossed a red line when it called for unwarranted actions against the Philippines, Cayetano said in a strongly-worded statement issued Thursday, shortly after the body adopted a resolution critical of the political situation in the country.

In the resolution, the European Parliament called on Manila to put an immediate end to its campaign against illegal drugs, which, it said, has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 12,000 men, women, and children.

The resolution also called for the release from detention of Senator Leila de Lima and the removal of United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from a government list of individuals linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military arm, the New People's Army.

This resolution that the European Parliament just adopted is based on biased, incomplete and even wrong information and does not reflect the true situation on the ground, Cayetano said.

In case the members of the European Parliament are not aware of it, may we remind them that their recommended actions already constitute interference in the affairs of a sovereign state," he added.

As a sovereign state, Cayetano said that the Philippines expects all members of the international community to respect the country's prerogative to determine national priorities and policies that are responsive to the needs of its people.

He warned European legislators against efforts by certain groups to discredit the government of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

It is really disappointing that European lawmakers have allowed themselves to be influenced and manipulated by certain interest groups in the Philippines and abroad who have politicized and weaponized human rights as part of their efforts to undermine the legitimately installed government of President Duterte, Cayetano said.

In his statement, the foreign affairs chief acknowledged that the views of members of the European Parliament do not reflect those of the European Union as a whole or of its individual member states.

He, however, lamented the "failure" of European legislators to appreciate the country's efforts to inform its international partners on what it is doing to protect and promote human rights.

Cayetano said the Philippines will continue to engage its partners in a transparent manner and will continue to attach utmost importance to the promotion and protection of human rights.

We will continue to engage the European Union in constructive dialogue on all issues, including those raised by the European Parliament, based on the principles of sovereignty, non-interference, and mutual respect, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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