Panelo blames E.U. for row over parliamentarians' statement


Posted at Oct 13 2017 11:45 PM

MANILA - Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Friday blamed the European Union (EU) for the alleged misinformation that President Duterte received regarding the 7-member delegation of parliamentarians who visited the country last week.

Panelo said the EU should have clarified earlier that the parliamentarians do not represent the organization's views.

"I think I should put the blame on the European Union. You know why? Because it did not disagree with the statement made by the international delegates of the progressive alliance," Panelo told ANC.

"Because the impression was that it was coming from them or it is sanctioned by the European Union. It is only now when the President made those statements that they clarified that those expressions given by this particular group did not necessarily [reflect] the position of the European Union," he added.

Duterte on Thursday blasted the United Nations and the E.U. anew following the visit of the 7-member delegation of parliamentarians, who called for a halt on the drug war and warned of trade repercussions while on a two-day visit in Manila last week.

In a statement, the E.U. Delegation in Manila denied involvement in the visit. 

"The European Union was not part of the organization or planning of that visit - neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels," the EU office in Manila said.

Former Senate President Edgardo Angara, Manila's special envoy to the EU, earlier clarified that the group of parliamentarians that came from Manila does not represent the E.U. parliament's governing majority.