Fri. May 27th, 2022

The European Parliament should listen to more respectable sources instead of obtaining information from militant front organizations masquerading as legitimate civil society organizations and disgruntled members of the political opposition who do not represent the majority of the Philippine electorate.

(pna.gov.ph)

In a strongly-worded statement on Sunday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) condemned what it called the misguided attempt of the European Parliament to interfere in the electoral process through a recent resolution that raised anew allegations of human rights violations and warned of possible trade sanctions.

The DFA called the resolution “unfair, largely baseless, and presumptuous”, prompted by European supporters of libelous journalists and bitter critics of the Duterte administration “because they miserably lost the previous election”.

“Far from what is presented in the resolution, the Philippines is a vibrant democracy that respects and protects the freedoms of every citizen; and upholds all their rights, preeminently the rights to life, liberty, and, above all, safety and protection from the lawless and violent,” the statement read.

The DFA said the allegations are being addressed by the landmark United Nations Joint Programme (UNJP) for Human Rights, framed precisely to address the issues but still respectful of the legal and accountable mechanisms that are already set in place in the country.

“Substantive, credible and forward-looking, the UNJP seeks to strengthen the Philippines’ compliance with international human rights obligations, fortify the human rights dimension in law enforcement and investigative work, and enhance the capacity of national institutions and actors to promote and protect human rights while keeping the public safe: the paramount obligation of a state and the justification for the expense of maintaining one,” the statement read.

Following an inclusive and transparent process of consultations, the UNJP was launched in July 2021 in the presence of among others, Chargé d’Affaires Rafael de Bustamante Tello of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.

The Department of Justice likewise has the Administrative Order 35 Task Force, the government’s inter-agency committee which investigates violation of human rights and humanitarian law and holds accountable humanitarian law violations by terror groups long known to recruit minors and use prohibited weapons, such as anti-personnel mines.

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