Duterte response directed at ‘Progressive Alliance’ — Abella

MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte was particularly pointing to the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance when he responded to that group’s “irresponsible statements” against the Philippines.

“This delegation’s irresponsible statements protesting the alleged killings under the Duterte Administration demean our status as a sovereign nation,” Abella said.

Duterte, in his speech during the relaunching of the press briefing room in Malacañang on October 12, 2017, said the EU had threatened to have the Philippines expelled from the United Nations (UN).

In response, the President said the UN should go ahead and expel the country.

He also said if the EU continues to pressure the Philippines, he can “have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours.”

In a statement, Abella said the President was expressing outrage at the temerity of the Progressive Alliance.

“For so long has our President tolerated these undue interferences in our domestic affairs, and he has decided that these must stop if only to preserve the integrity and dignity of our State as a sovereign nation,” he added.

Abella said any group or person “who unduly interferes in our domestic affairs demeans our status as a sovereign nation.”

“For as long as this condition remains, the President is duty-bound to preserve the integrity of the State,” he said.

Abella also said Duterte’s order for the EU ambassadors to leave the Philippines in 24 hours should be understood in light of the fact that the International Delegates had been falsely represented as an EU mission.

Abella also noted that the European Delegation to the Philippines had itself issued a clarification that it had no involvement the visit of the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance.

In a statement following Duterte’s speech, the EU Delegation said:

“The recent visit of the delegation of the ‘International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance’ to the Philippines on 8-9 October was not a ‘European Union mission’, as falsely reported by some media outlets.

“The European Union was not part of the organisation or planning of that visit — neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels. The statements made by the Progressive Alliance during its visit to the Philippines were made solely on behalf of the Progressive Alliance and do not represent the position of the European Union.

“The Delegation continues to operate and function normally, and is committed to working constructively and productively with the Philippines for the benefit of the population.”

Abella also minimized the statements made by Human Rights Watch accusing the Philippines of violating its membership obligations and threatening to call for the country to be delisted from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

“The only basis for suspension of privileges of members of the UNHRC is for the concerned member to have committed ‘gross and systematic violations of human rights’ and such a decision is not of the UNHRC but by 2/3 vote of the members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) present and voting. This is what is said in paragraph 8 of A/Res/251, the UNGA resolution that established the UNHRC,” Abella said.

“The fact, however, remains that the UNHRC unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – a decision undermined by HRW. Thus, the noise from HRW amounts to nothing more than unwarranted nuisance,” he added. OPS/PNA – northboundasia.com