DFA blasts European Parliament resolution on alleged human rights abuses in PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2022 08:58 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2022 09:00 PM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs on Sunday condemned what it called a "misguided attempt" of the European Parliament to "interfere" in the Philippine electoral process by releasing a resolution on the alleged human rights breaches in the Philippines.

In a statement, DFA said the allegations raised in the resolution are "unfair" and "largely baseless", as these had already been discredited.

"We condemn the misguided attempt of the European Parliament to interfere in the Philippine electoral process through its Resolution raising already discredited allegations of human rights violations in the thin hope of heavily influencing the outcome in favor of its choice," it said.

"The allegations raised in the Resolution are unfair, largely baseless, prompted by European supporters of libelous journalists and bitter critics of the current administration because they miserably lost the previous election. The Resolution is based on a deliberately falsified impression of the actual human rights situation in the country. The Resolution is presumptuous given the historical record of its main proponents," the DFA added.

The DFA also said the UN Joint Program (UNJP) for Human Rights have already addressed such allegations of human rights violations, including the allegations of extrajudicial killings in line with the Duterte administration's "war on drugs".

"The UNJP covers alleged cases of extrajudicial killings involving militants and trade union leaders, and deaths arising from the anti-illegal drug campaign to avert the fate of Central America. The Philippine justice system continues to ensure a safe and enabling civic space for civil society of all stripes including human rights defenders,"it said.

"Following an inclusive and transparent process of consultations, the UNJP was launched in July 2021 in the presence of among others, Charg√© d’Affaires Rafael de Bustamante Tello of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines. He welcomed it warmly," DFA added.

The DFA then called on EU Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala to prove her information.

"We therefore strongly advise EU Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala to prove her information, specifically with the EU Delegation to the Philippines before she demands anything from the Philippines. Her disrespectful language disregards these ongoing efforts of the Philippines and the United Nations, and the mechanisms and processes that inform their joint efforts to advance human rights," it said.

"We advise European Parliamentarians to listen to more respectable sources than the militant front organizations masquerading as legitimate civil society organizations; the usual disgruntled members of a forlorn political opposition who clearly do not represent the majority of the Philippine electorate; and journalists who have a clear political agenda other than reporting the news in a fair and accurate manner," DFA added.

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the Philippines, wherein it condemned the extrajudicial killings in relation to the drug war, intimidation and violence against human rights activists, journalists and critics, as well as the "red-tagging" of organizations and individuals.

The full text of the resolution has yet to be posted on the European Parliament website.

The Duterte administration has been criticized for its bloody war on drugs. The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber in August gave the green light for the ICC Prosecutor to conduct a formal probe on the drug war killings in the Philippines.

The investigation was suspended in November.

Officially, around six thousand drug suspects were killed since the start of the Duterte administration in what police said were sting operations where suspects resisted arrest.

But as early as 2018, the Commission on Human Rights said as many as 27,000 may have been killed.

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