THE administration of President Rodrigo Duterte should take seriously the warning made recently by European Union (EU) ambassador Franz Jessen that trade relations with EU member-states might suffer if the Philippines fails to comply with its commitments to various international treaties on human rights, a political analyst said on Monday.
Institute for Political and Electoral Reform Executive Director Ramon Casiple said the matters raised by the EU envoy were legitimate.
“We should take it (warning) seriously. There are treaties covering or affecting trade that can be invoked by the EU and the international community,” he said.
Casiple pointed out that trade agreements particularly with the EU were anchored on the adherence of the Philippines to human rights treaties.
Malacañang and some senators on Sunday belittled Jessen’s statements, with presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella saying: “Non-trade accusations, especially if baseless and undeserved, should…not be linked with trade programs.”
The Philippines is a signatory to 27 international treaties and conventions on human rights, labor rights, environment and governance, among others.
Abella on Sunday said the Philippines would respect its international commitments but insisted the war on drugs of the Duterte administration “intends to protect the innocent which illegal drugs would destroy.”
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said the EU has no moral right to meddle with the affairs of the country, considering that some of its member-nations tolerate drug use.
Casiple said in an earlier interview that the protection of human rights has been a long-time advocacy of the EU and the United States.
“And if the EU sees that there is violation or they issued a warning on that supposed violation we could be in trouble because they are raising real issues and not partisan politics,” he said.