EU Parliament Reso on Human Rights Violations is 'Unfair, Baseless': DFA

The DFA claimed that it was an attempt to influence the elections.
Photo/s: Shutterstock

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Sunday accused the European Parliament of attempting to interfere with the Philippine elections, calling its fresh adoption of a resolution against reported human rights abuses in the country "unfair, largely baseless".

Maintaining that the Philippines is a "vibrant democracy" and that the European body should listen to "more respectable sources", the DFA rejected its resolution that cited widely reported killings under the current administration's drug war, as well as the red-tagging of activists and journalists. 

"We condemn the misguided attempt of the European Parliament to interfere in the Philippine electoral process through its Resolution raising already discredited allegations of human rights violations in the thin hope of heavily influencing the outcome in favor of its choice," DFA said.

"The allegations raised in the Resolution are unfair, largely baseless, prompted by European supporters of libelous journalists and bitter critics of the current administration because they miserably lost the previous election. The Resolution is based on a deliberately falsified impression of the actual human rights situation in the country," it added without providing basis for such claims. 

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For the fifth time since Duterte assumed office in 2016, the European Parliament stood against human rights abuses in the Philippines that are widely reported by local and international monitors, warning of possible trade sanctions if their calls this time remain unaddressed. 

Asking that she "prove her information" first "before she demands anything from the Philippines", the DFA called out EU Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala, who was among those who raised the idea of revoking the country's tariff privileges under the Generalized Scheme of Preference (GSP+).

Hautala had said whoever wins the presidency this May 9 "will have a major task to reverse a dire human rights situation which has seen an appalling deterioration under President Duterte."

"Her disrespectful language disregards these ongoing efforts of the Philippines and the United Nations, and the mechanisms and processes that inform their joint efforts to advance human rights," it said, noting the Philippines' participation in the United Nations Joint Program for Human Rights in July 2021 where it said "such allegations" have been addressed.

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"For the Parliament to pass a Resolution of this manner is a clear attempt to influence the outcome of our coming elections in May instead of accepting the sovereign will of the Filipino people as manifested in the previous elections," DFA said, insisting this was an "unfortunate intrusion" in the country's internal affairs.

The DFA said it was still looking forward to the GSP+ monitoring mission scheduled from Feb. 28 to March 4, believing that the "views of the Members of the European Parliament do not reflect those of the European Union as a whole or of its individual member states".

As the European Union's only directly-elected institution, the European Parliament adopted the resolution with 627 votes in favor, 26 against, and 31 abstentions.


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