MANILA — Members of the European Parliament (EP) Subcommittee on Human Rights will visit the Philippines this week.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippine government accepted the EP's request to visit the country from Feb. 22 to 24.
During their stay in the Philippines, 6 members of the EP subcommittee will meet their counterparts in the Senate and House of Representatives to exchange views on best practices and legislations.
The subcommittee is also set to have audiences with Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, the DFA also said.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs welcomes this visit as it signifies the expanding dialogue and cooperation between the Philippines and the European Union," it added.
The EP's visit was also in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s visit to Belgium last December to attend the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit, which "highlighted opportunities for the broad expansion of Philippines-EU trade and investment."
"The visit of the EP DROI is taking place in the context of the open and regular engagement between the Philippines and the EU on human rights, and the shared aim to further constructive dialogue and cooperation on human rights, including in the framework of the EU GO-JUST Program which supports and complements national reforms in the justice sector," the DFA said.
"The Philippines’ relationships with the European Union and its members have steadily expanded across political, economic and security areas. These relationships are founded on mutual interest and shared values of democracy and freedom, rule of law, peace and stability and human rights," the department's statement further read.
The EP subcommitee's visit to the country is part of their core work to visit several countries in a year using their own budget.
The EP is one of the European Union's legislative bodies and 7 institutions.
Their visit comes as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he would not allow investigators from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to come to the country to probe the Duterte administration's bloody drug war.
He even described the impending visit as a "threat to our sovereignty."
"I do not see what their jurisdiction is. I feel that we have in our police, in our judiciary, a good system. We do not need assistance from any outside entity, the Philippines is a sovereign nation and we are not colonies anymore of this former imperialist," Marcos said on Saturday.
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