Cayetano slams EU Parliament for ‘crossing the red line’

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (Left) & European Parliament logo (Right)

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano lambasted the European Union lawmakers for its “unwarranted and uncalled for actions” against the Philippines, specifically against the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The European Parliament has crossed a red line when it called for unwarranted actions against the Philippines,” the Secretary said.

On April 19, Thursday, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution calling the Philippine government to immediately end extrajudicial killings which the group claimed the result of the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign.

The resolution also called for the release Senator Leila de Lima as well as the removal of human rights defenders, particularly UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, from the government’s list of personalities with terror links.

“This resolution that the European Parliament just adopted is based on biased, incomplete and even wrong information and does not reflect the true situation on the ground,” Secretary Cayetano said.

He added that the resolution already “constitutes interference in the affairs of a sovereign state.” He called for “respect for of the country’s prerogatives” when it comes to its internal affairs.

“As a sovereign state, the Philippines expects all members of the international community to respect the country’s prerogative to determine national priorities and policies that are responsive to the needs of its people,” he said.

He again warned the European lawmakers against certain groups “in the Philippines and abroad who have politicized and weaponized human rights as part of their efforts to undermine the legitimately installed government of President Duterte.”

Though Cayetano said he acknowledged that the views of the members of the EU Parliament do not reflect those of the European regional bloc as a whole, he said he lamented the lawmakers’ failure to appreciate the efforts of the government to inform its international partners on its efforts to promote and protect human rights.

Nevertheless, the Secretary said the Philippine government “will continue to engage ” its partners “in constructive dialogue on all issues,” including the promotion and protection of human rights, “based on the principles of sovereignty, non-interference, and mutual respect.” — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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