PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dared his critics to push for the removal of the Philippines from the United Nations amid criticisms on the country’s human rights record—but not without threatening the envoys of the European Union to leave the country within 24 hours.
“As a last word, maybe this will suffice for the stupid European Union guys … they threatened us, I said that they will have us expelled from the UN. My God, do it stupid. Do it now,” Duterte said.
The President made the response in apparent reference to recent warnings by international rights group Human Rights Watch and the Philippine UPR Watch, calling for the expulsion of the Philippines from the UN Human Rights Council if unabated killings under the bloody drug war continues.
Duterte, however, erroneously attributed a call of a seven-member delegation of international parliamentarians for an end to the bloody war on drugs to the 28-member European Union.
Making his usual tirades against the abuses of European colonizers, Duterte said that foreigners should never look at Filipinos as a “bunch of morons” who never learned how to read the UN charter.
“You want to expel us? You try. Your $1,000 will earn P1 million from me if you can expel us from the UN. You think China and the rest of the countries in Asean will agree to that? Where will the crucial vote [come from]? The Security Council. And you think Russia and China will allow that?” he said.
Duterte then turned his ire on EU diplomats, saying they were free to leave the Philippines within 24 hours.
“The ambassadors of those countries are listening now. Tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours. All, all of you,” the President said.
The President added that he will not allow anybody, not even the United States, “to dictate on us.”
“And I will tell it straight during the November… in the Asean,” he added, in apparent reference to the upcoming 31st Asean summit to be held in Manila from Nov. 13 to 14, where world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are set to arrive.
He shot back against those who called for an end to his bloody drug war, saying that as President, he is the sole person in control of the affairs of the government.
The Palace blamed Duterte’s “expression of outrage” to “false calls” by a seven-member delegation of international parliamentarians to stop the drug-related killings.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella clarified that the President’s threat to cut ties with the EU stemmed from “irresponsible statements” protesting these killings.
“The President’s expression of outrage is in reaction to statements by a seven-member delegation of the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance, which has falsely portrayed itself as an EU mission,” Abella said.
He said the veiled pronouncements “demean our status as a sovereign nation.”
“The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light. 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.
Earlier, Former Senate President Edgardo Angara, Manila’s special envoy to the European Union, said that European parliamentarians are willing to help the Philippines solve the drug problem and support counter-terrorism efforts.
In a statement Wednesday, Angara said that the group of parliamentarians that just came from Manila does not represent the EU parliament’s governing majority.
“In all the meetings (between Filipino and European officials in Brussels), the EU representatives invariably asked how the EU can help the Philippines cope with the drug crisis and fight ISIS (Islamic State),” Angara said.
The Philippine delegation received “no moralizing or lecturing” from the Europeans, Angara said, and “the atmosphere was civil and the tone cooperative.”
The European Union on Thursday reiterated that the recent visit of the delegation of the international delegates of the Progressive Alliance is not part of the EU nor the institution in Brussels.
Following the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for all 28 EU member countries to leave the country, EU ambassador Franz Jessen said in a statement that the institution will still work constructively and productively with the Philippines, which covers a very wide range of cooperation, including trade.
“The recent visit of the delegation of the “International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance” to the Philippines on 8 to 9 October was not a ‘European Union mission’, as falsely reported by some media outlets,” Jessen said reacting to Duterte’s speech.
“The European Union was not part of the organization or planning of that visit–neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels,” he said.
Jessen said the statements made by 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.”
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