EU officials raise concerns on PH drug killings

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2016 08:56 PM

MANILA – Presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza on Monday said representatives from the European Union have raised concerns over the growing number of drug-related fatalities in the Philippines.

"'Yung patayan daw sa atin, maraming namamatay (They said so many people were dying)," Dureza said in a news conference after his arrival from a week-long talks with Filipino communist guerrillas in Oslo, Norway.

''Namamangha sila. Aside from the fact na may namamatay, napakarami nag-susurrender voluntarily.(They were also surprised by the big number of people surrendering to authorities)."

Dureza said he assured the EU officials, whom he did not name, that the Philippine government does not undermine human rights in its ongoing war on drugs.

"They are reading the newspapers. But they also have people here. May listening force sila dito, but we have to make it also clear that we share values on protection of human rights and due process," Dureza said.

(They are reading the news papers. But they also have people here. They have a listening force here, but we have to make it also clear that we share values on protection of human rights and due process.)

"There are incidents about killings as the drug issue continues in the country. I also told them that the President has directed internally for people, specific groups to look into the so-called excesses of the police."

Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in both police operations and suspected vigilantes, police figures released last week showed.

The United Nations, United States and various local and international human rights groups have repeatedly expressed concerns over the unabated killings, but Duterte simply dismissed the calls, saying killings are unavoidable.

READ: UN experts nix Duterte's 'license to kill'  

Aside from his meeting with EU officials in Brussels, Belgium, he also met on August 25 with Belgian officials for the visit of Princess Astrid of Belgium in May 2017.

The princess will fly to the Philippines with a high-level economic team for investments. The Belgian government is interested on investing on high-level economic meeting on investing on renewable energy and cocoa.

He also briefed the Belgian foreign minister and deputy prime minister about the peace process with the communist rebels.