By Roy C. Mabasa
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday the European Union (EU) Parliament has “crossed the red line” with its “unwarranted and uncalled for actions” against the Philippines that already constitutes interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“The European Parliament has crossed a red line when it called for unwarranted actions against the Philippines,” the foreign affairs chief said in a statement issued Thursday night.
Cayetano’s statement came after the EU adopted a resolution calling on the Philippines to end extrajudicial killings under President Duterte’s war on drugs campaign, release detained Senator Leila De Lima, and remove human rights defenders, including United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli Corpuz, from its list of terrorists.
“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 added.
Cayetano likewise reminded the EU Parliament that their recommended actions “already constitute interference in the affairs of a sovereign state.”
In the resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament said it “strongly condemns the high number of extrajudicial killings, “sends its condolences to the victims’ families” and “expresses grave concern” over reports that the Philippine National Police “is falsifying evidence to justify extrajudicial killings” which target mostly the poor.
It noted in its earlier joint motion for a resolution the death of around 12,000 people n President Duterte’s drug campaign.
“As a sovereign state, 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,” Cayetano said, even as he warned European parliamentarians against efforts by certain groups to discredit the government of President 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.
Furthermore, Cayetano 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 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 assured that despite this, the Philippines “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.”
Last Sunday, the Bureau of Immigration barred Giacomo Fillibeck, deputy secretary general of the Party of European Socialist, from entering the country when the latter arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. He was supposed to attend an event organized by Akbayan.