Alleged EJKs, rule of law never an issue with foreign investors – Palace

Published March 18, 2019, 3:02 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that investor confidence is not affected by the alleged cases of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and the rule of law in the country.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

LAWASIA president Christopher Leong earlier raised concern that investors may think twice about investing in the Philippines because of the said issues.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines should conduct a more thorough research before issuing such statement because Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia are saying otherwise.

“I think whoever said that should conduct more research on that. According to our economic managers, never did issue on human rights or extrajudicial killings was raised during meetings with investors and other conferences relative to the business investments in this country,” Panelo said Monday.

Panelo also said that according to Dominguez, the Philippines has more foreign investors now compared to previous years.

Panelo enumerated the principal considerations being given by the government to foreign investors to seek opportunities in the Philippines.

“One would be the issue of bureaucracy. If there is so much red tape, they would be discouraged in coming here. That is precisely why we have the law on Ease of Doing Business in this country. That’s the reason we have this kind of law–precisely to encourage the foreign investors,” he said.

“With respect to peace and order situation, that is why there are so many foreign investors because they know that criminality has gone down considerably and there is war against illegal drugs and we are dismantling many factories producing shabu,”he added.

Panelo also belied the claim of LAWASIA that there a lawyer dies in the country every month since November last year.

“That’s an exaggeration. One death of a lawyer every month? Palagay ko nangangarap siya ng gising (I think he is daydreaming). I don’t think so,” he said.

Even assuming that the figure is true, Panelo said that there are many reasons for a lawyer to die or be killed and that their fate should not be linked to the government.

“It cannot be attributed to the government or whatever because those deaths may be the result of the problems affecting that particular individual subject of the killing,” he said.

“It could be personal motivations, it could be revenge, it could be a botched business deal, or it could be a client disgruntled. There are many reasons for killing a particular individual,” he added.