Palace dismisses EU threat


THE Duterte administration on Sunday dismissed the warning of the envoy of the European Union that EU countries could block the entry of Philippine exports if drug-related killings continue.

In support of the Palace’s stance, a Philippine lawmaker called on the 28-nation bloc to stop meddling in Philippine affairs.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella took exception to the statement made by EU Ambassador Franz Jessen that the Philippines’ refusal to meet its commitments to UN human rights agreements could affect trade relations with 28 EU member-states.

GRIEVING, STILL Families of drug suspects killed during police anti-drug operations grieve at the Santo Niño Parish Church in Caloocan City on Sunday. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias offered Mass for the alleged victims of summary killings. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

Abella noted that no less than the head of the Task Force on Extrajudicial Killings of the Commission on Human Rights, led by Commissioner Gwen Pimentel-Gana, had stated that the spate of extrajudicial killings were not state-sponsored.

“Non-trade accusations, especially if baseless and undeserved, should therefore not be linked with trade programs. Philippine police authorities are conducting legitimate police operations that require observance of operational protocols, and police authorities who breach procedures are answerable to the law,” Abella said in a statement.

The country benefits from the GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) scheme with the EU that allows the Philippines and other developing nations to pay less or no duties on their exports to the EU, thus giving crucial access to European markets.

At least 7,000 have been killed since Duterte took over the presidency in June 2016. Of this figure, about 4,000 are deemed drug-related.

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is heavily opposed to the anti-drug war, telling a United Nations anti-narcotics conference last month that even family members of suspected drug personalities have been arrested or killed.

In October, Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was murdered by the police after he was nabbed on a fake warrant of arrest for drug charges.

Abella insisted that the war on drugs was aboveboard.

“We assure our friends and allies that the Philippines will respect its international commitments. The President’s war against dangerous drug traffickers intends to protect the innocent which illegal drugs would destroy. The citizens appreciate the long-awaited peace and order under President Duterte,” Abella said.

Abella noted that the Philippine economy was ready for takeoff, considering the $7.9 billion worth of foreign investments that came in 2016, or a jump of 44 percent from the previous year. Investments could still go higher with peace and order, he said.

“We would rather that the European Parliament engage us as partners in nation-building, as the visionary EU business community seems to intend themselves,” Abella said.

‘EU has no moral right’
A senator on Sunday criticized the EU anew for meddling with the affairs of the Philippines, saying it should try to understand the drug problem in the country.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said the EU has no moral right to question the methods of the Philippine government in dealing with the illegal drug problem, considering that some of its member-nations tolerate drug use.“The European Union has no moral right to interfere in how we handle our illegal drugs problems considering the fact that many of their member-countries allow the use of dangerous drugs,” Sotto said in an interview aired over radio station dzBB.

Sotto said the actions of some EU parliamentarians seemed to show that they were more sympathetic with drugs pushers and addicts killed during legitimate police operations, rather than with the thousands of families affected by the proliferation of illegal drugs.

More than 77,000 families have been affected by crimes involving drugs, such as murder or rape, he said.

“They are only concerned of the picture showing a crying wife of a drug pusher. But how about the families who were affected by that drug pusher?” the senator added.

Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian however said the Philippines should first determine if there was indeed a threat from the EU.

Gatchalian said the government must continue to engage with the EU because Philippine exporters depend on European markets.

The President’s attacks on the EU do not help the situation, and the government must show to EU members the good results of the anti-drug war of the Duterte administration, he said.

“Statistics will show that 81 percent of Filipinos experienced a huge improvement on our peace and order and these are the numbers that matter,” he said.

“We have to take this into account because at the end of the day we are serving the Filipino people and not the European Union,” Gatchalian added.



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  1. Forget the European Union… They tolerated drug addicts in their country.. We dont care about our exports to EU. You know EU has a long winter season, 9 months of winter season and 3 months of summer..How does this people live in this weather they have. How they preserve their food for long time winter season. They only have their technology that is why they survive in bloody weather. In our country we have a lot resources, in which foreigner is benefitting, like Germany.. Germany has no nickel chromite and they need this metal very badly in our country. They import raw materials from us, to manufacture them in their country and sell back to our country with high price, because of good quality, like GROHE..This material has a very good quality and design for bathroom, kitchen, etc. Germany has a technology ….but they dont have raw materials and mineral resources to produce their products. Take note, they have only Technology….We dont care…

  2. Police authorities who breach procedures are answerable to the law,” Abella said

    Except the police who get pardoned by the president even after the NBI calls the killing of 2 people in a jail cell murder.

    What good is it to say the police are answerable to the law when the president says he will pardon the police and not allow them to go to jail.

    The police are pretending that the law applies to them.

  3. The issue of EJK which is less than 3000 allegedly killed by police legal operation is always amplified in the media outlets the sad thing is how about the 4M Filipinos who are addicted to Drugs. Media men failed to understand the potential effect of 4M addicts affected by drugs in our society. They always charging the killings under PRRD administration, we will see who will be the loser at the end. For me its the nation itself and its people will be severely affected. We should stop pulling the present administration down to the bottom of the pit instead lets work hand in hand to achieve the new Philippines Society that all of us dreaming of.

  4. EXPRESS:. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express.

    END OF THE EU? Germany warns FIVE more countries could leave Europe after Brexit
    PUBLISHED: 04:25, Sun, Jun 26, 2016 | UPDATED: 09:06, Sun, Jun 26, 2016

    FIVE European countries may seek to follow Britain’s lead in leaving the EU in a Brexit domino effect, Germany has warned.
    France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Hungary could leave.
    Monsieur Jenssen, with due respect, these five (5) countries are financially richer than the other members except Germany so it would be better to attend to them rather than minding the internal affairs of the Philippines. Merci and Shalom.

    • The economically sound countries in the EU are tried of helping the countries that are not doing well. Debt ridden(Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus).
      Add to that the Muslims refugees that are poring into the EU countries bringing their religious violence with them.

      The well off countries are tired of helping the other countries with problems and feel they would be better off without.

      In other words the countries that can stand on their own feet are going to leave the countries that can’t to their own fate.

  5. The proposed sanctions of the EEC against the Philippines and African nations will not prosper as Great Britain is not willing to go along with the EEC on this matter. If the leaders of the EEC refuse to consider the British objections, then the UK has no choice except to leave the EEC

    This is not the first time that Britain formally left an alliance of European nations. The first one came when she left the Triple Alliance on their proposal to send an expeditionary force to South America to restore all the republics there to the Spanish monarchy. The refusal of the Triple Alliance to come to their senses prompted Great Britain to leave her.

    The trade sanctions of the EEC against the Philippines and African nations will only hurt them more than the nations punished. These trade sanctions would hardly affect the Philippines and African nations, but it would wreck severe havoc on the EEC economy. By imposing the sanctions on the Philippines and African nations, the EEC is building her own coffin that she could later make a bed on. These sanctions will only hasten the collapse of the EEC earlier than the Grexit, Therefore expect that collapse the soonest.

    For this reason, the UK has no choice except to leave the EEC for the proposed sanctions against the Philippines and African nations would accelerate unemployment in her nation but would barely affect the nations sanctioned. This is the second time the UK made a Brexit on a European alliance. If the leaders of the EEC refuse to come to their senses, then Great Britain has no choice except to leave the EEC as she left the Triple Alliance earlier.

    • Great Britain is leaving the EU due to having to take in refugees from Muslim countries and having to help other EU member countries like (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus) that are failing unable to repay or refinance their government debt or to bail out over-indebted bank.

      The better off helping the less well off and Great Britain has had enough.

      Might be a lesson in there somewhere for a beggar nation like the Philippines.

  6. Rizalito David on

    The issue of human rights and the right to life specifically is universal. It involves the entire human collective. It transcends political boundaries. Thus it becomes every man’s business to raise concerns over violations of rights, the rule of law and humanity’s overall welfare. Here lies the difference between politicians of the old world and the ones that we have in this country. Their worldview is that of humanity while ours is mere political survival. Mr. Abella should know better. He is a Christian pastor, isn’t he?

    • lest we forget, the history of these EU nations is written with the blood of human rights victims slaughtered in two world wars …….

    • In today’s Philippines concerns and questions are discouraged.
      It’s more of a with us or against us mentality going on in the country.

      The brain drain is starting to show it’s effect.