Duterte un­apolo­getic about anti-EU rant

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRISTINA MEN­DEZ

Pres­i­dent Duterte was un­apolo­getic over his re­marks against the Euro­pean Union a day af­ter he threat­ened to ask EU am­bas­sadors to leave the coun­try for un­der­min­ing the sovereignty of the Philip­pines by mak­ing pub­lic their con­cerns on his drug war.

In a speech in Du­maguete City, Duterte lashed out at the EU for do­ing noth­ing about the visit to the coun­try of some mem­bers of the Pro­gres­sive Al­liance and Party of Euro­pean So­cial­ists.

The seven-mem­ber group crit­i­cized the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s war on drugs due to thou­sands of killings.

Duterte faulted the am­bas­sador of the EU Del­e­ga­tion in the Philip­pines for be­ing silent about the so­cial­ist vis­i­tors.

“You know what? Johnny-come-lately, here comes the am­bas­sador of EU to the Philip­pines dis­claim­ing, ‘They are not part of the EU.’ Why did you not say that im­me­di­ately? You kept your si­lence while they were yakking here,” he added.

In an in­ter­view over staterun PTV-4, Duterte re­it­er­ated his call to the EU not to med­dle with lo­cal af­fairs, say­ing: “Do not im­pose on us, do not threaten us. Do not even rep­ri­mand us. If you can say 10 things bad in the Philip­pines, I can say more things about you.”

Duterte ex­pressed dis­plea­sure at how some coun­tries are “dis­cour­te­ous” to­wards the Philip­pines, re­fer­ring to the US and the EU.

He added that he is not afraid of the threat to re­move the Philip­pines from the UN.

“Go ahead and try to delist us from our mem­ber­ship. Go ahead so the peo­ple will know how stupid you are. If you come here, I will slap you. If you are ex­pelled in the UN, it will be a big is­sue,” he said.

At the same time, he called an of­fi­cial of the Hu­man Rights Watch as “stupid” and “ig­no­ra­mus” for say­ing that the Philip­pines’ in­ac­tion on hu­man rights can lead to its ex­pul­sion from the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil, ac­tu­ally a sub-body.

He doubts whether the Philip­pines will be ex­pelled, not­ing that he has al­lied with China and Rus­sia who are per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, and as such, they have vot­ing rights.

But his gov­ern­ment’s top of­fi­cials yes­ter­day scram­bled to soften the im­pact of the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive’s tirades against the EU.

Trade Sec­re­tary Ra­mon Lopez and pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella told a reg­u­lar brief­ing in Mala­cañang yes­ter­day that there are ef­forts to reach out to the EU mis­sion and ex­plain the con­text of the Pres­i­dent’s lat­est state­ments.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III, in a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, also stressed the need to take Duterte’s state­ments in its proper con­text.

“EU am­bas­sadors should know that (it) is not (an) or­der to leave. Such a thing would have to come from the DFA (De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs). And I am sure no such or­der is forth­com­ing,” Pi­mentel told re­porters.

Abella said the Pres­i­dent is “aware of the nuances.”

“And I sup­pose there are other venues in which he’ll be able to ex­press that more clearly, es­pe­cially re­fer­ring more clearly to that par­tic­u­lar group,” Abella said.

In de­fend­ing the Pres­i­dent, he said Duterte was not mis­led or mis­in­formed and was only re­act­ing ac­cord­ing to what he was read­ing in the news.

“It’s not a ques­tion of be­ing mis­in­formed… Ba­si­cally, it’s a les­son (on) the need for crit­i­cal re­port­ing and read­ing of the news… The Pres­i­dent re­acted as any leader would when na­tional sovereignty is vi­o­lated. So, we call upon… the me­dia to heed his re­quest too for cor­rect re­portage,” the Palace of­fi­cial added.

Abella banked on the Euro­pean mis­sion’s state­ment that it has no in­volve­ment in the visit of the seven-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Del­e­gates of the Pro­gres­sive Al­liance, adding that it has falsely por­trayed it­self as an EU mis­sion.


Mem­bers of the PNP High­way Pa­trol Group are seen at Camp Karin­gal in Que­zon City for a brief­ing on their de­ploy­ment for the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions Sum­mit in Novem­ber. Story on Page 13.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.