Drug killings shall not affect EU-PH trade, Abella says
Malacanang said on Sunday the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines should not affect its trade with the European Union.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella was reacting on the reported warning of EU Ambassador Franz Jessen that the Duterte administration’s failure to address concerns on human rights issues, including the bloody war against illegal drugs, may affect Europe’s trade with the Philippines.
Since the Philippines has ratified core United Nations international conventions, including human rights and good governance, it is expected to ensure effective compliance, he has said, adding that EU was not the one imposing anything to Manila.
“Non-trade accusations, especially if baseless and undeserved, should therefore not be linked with trade programs,” Abella said in a statement.
He cited the initial findings of the Task Force on Extrajudicial Killings of the Commission on Human Rights, which showed that extrajudicial killings were not state-sponsored.
“Philippine police authorities are conducting legitimate police operations that require observance of operational protocols. Police authorities who breach procedures are answerable to the law,” he said.
Abella also said the Philippines is committed to the UN conventions that it has ratified.
“We assure our friends and allies that the Philippines will respect its international commitments,” he said.
“The President’s war against dangerous drug traffickers intends to protect the innocent which illegal drugs would destroy. The citizens appreciate the long awaited peace and order under President Duterte,” Abella said.
He noted the Philippines is “now ready to take off,” citing the record high foreign direct investments of $7.9 billion last year or 44 percent higher than previous year.
He said the government expects further increase on FDI as “we institute discipline and restore peace and order.”
“We would rather that the European Parliament engage us as partners in nation-building, as the visionary EU business community seems to intend themselves,” Abella added.
The EU Parliament recently came out with a resolution for the Philippines to stop drug killings, to release “political prisoner” opposition Senator Leila de Lima, and not to re-impose death penalty. Celerina Monte/DMS