Malacañang on Friday described as “unfortunate” the European Parliament’s resolution calling for an end to the alleged extrajudicial killings amid the country’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
“We, of course, find it unfortunate that members of the European Parliament once again interfered with the affairs of the Philippine state, rehashing issues and baseless claims that have been explained adequately by the Philippine government in several official statements,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
“We reiterate that the Philippine administration — the government under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte — does not engage in so-called extrajudicial killings,” he said.
Roque also refuted claims that 12,000 have already been killed since Duterte began his anti-illegal drugs campaign upon assumption of office in 2016.
“We challenge them — where are your data, the evidence of 12,000 who died? Impunity doesn’t have a place in our society and we continue to follow process and hold officers accountable for their actions,” he explained.
Government date showed about 4,100 people have been killed in anti-drug operations.
On the European Parliament’s call for the release of Senator Leila de Lima, Roque said de Lima’s arrest on illegal drug charges has been declared legal with finality by the Supreme Court.
He reminded the European Parliament that the Philippine justice system is working and that the executive department does not interfere with the judiciary.
“The judiciary is working. The lower courts and the Supreme Court are not influenced by the politicians,” Roque said.
The European Parliament’s resolution also asked the Philippine government to remove UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from the list of terrorists.
Roque, meanwhile, explained that military intelligence reports claim that Corpuz has links to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Tauli-Corpuz, he said, has not yet been tagged as terrorist since her case is still in court.
“Ms. Corpuz can submit controverting evidence linking her with the terrorist group. We will allow the court to decide,” he said.
Roque called on members of the European Parliament to exercise prudence in issuing resolutions.
“We understand a number of whom we have close ties with the local political opposition who tried to distort realities that we have a working democracy, where people now enjoy peace and order,” he said.
Roque said he finds the European Parliament’s resolution inconsistent with the European Union’s recent move to give financial assistance for the Philippines’ war on drugs.
“I find it inconsistent that the European parliament will condemn the war against drugs which is now also being financed partly by the European Union,” he said.
He clarified that the Philippines has no problem with the EU, noting that “perhaps it is the EU that should communicate with the European parliament.”
On the European Parliament’s call for EU to remove the Philippines from the UN Human Rights Council, Roque said it will be decided by the UN system itself.
“The members of the UN Human Rights Council are elected by the general assembly. That’s a call to be made by the general assembly,” he pointed out.
Roque said he is expecting the Department of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary steps to what he called unfair action by the European Parliament. (PNA)