MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday again slammed western nations for their criticism against his war on illegal drugs, but he said they are free to help Manila solve its drug problem “in a civilized way.”
Duterte said the West must not impose its will on the Philippines, particularly on how to tackle the country’s drug problem.
“I would like to address myself now to the Western world. Please do not impose your will on us. Do not derogate our sovereignty by lecturing on us,” Duterte said in a speech in Manila.
“Tell us if you are ready to deal with the problem, I’d be happy to order my soldiers and my policemen just to relax. And if any western country is interested to do it the civilized way, then come. I am inviting you to join the fray. And I would be glad to appoint you the lead role in the problem.”
The President added that if the West cannot stop interfering, “at least be educated in your assessment.”
He also said nations that have problems with how the Philippines carries out its policies may go to the United Nations to complain.
“We have the United Nations. If you think, you have qualms against me, go to the United Nations, make your representations, state your complaint and ask the body to investigate us for being a member of that organization,” Duterte said.
The European Union has come under fire from Duterte after several European lawmakers who were part of an international delegation blasted the administration over the war on drugs.
The EU office in Manila, however, swiftly issued a clarification denying involvement in the visit by members of the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists.
Duterte has repeatedly blasted the EU in his speeches, saying its members do not understand the magnitude of Manila's drug problem. He also accused the bloc of undue interference in the Philippines’ internal affairs.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano also said that the Philippines has decided to no longer accept any grants from the EU to stop the bloc’s meddling in Manila’s internal affairs.