DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The European Union summoned a Philippine envoy in Brussel to be clarified on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark to hang any EU official who opposed his anti-drug and pro-death penalty campaigns.
“This afternoon, the European External Action Service asked the Chargé d’affaires of the Philippines, Mr Alan Deniega, to come to the EEAS this afternoon for a meeting with Deputy Secretary General, Jean-Christophe Belliard, as we wanted to receive an explanation for the recent, unacceptable comments of President Duterte,” Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the European Union External Action, the international bloc’s diplomatic service arm, said in a statement Tuesday.
During his official state visit in Myanmar and Thailand, Duterte, in his expletive-laden speeches, lambasted EU for criticizing his anti-illegal drug campaign as well as the re-imposition of death penalty.
“I will just be happy to hang you. If I have the preference, I’ll hang all of you,” Duterte had said last Friday.”You are putting us down. You are exerting pressure in every country with the death penalty.”
The President also criticized EU after it suggested that Philippines should adopt a “health-based solution” to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
“Ang EU, they communicated to us and they want a health-based solution for the drugs. Alam mo ang mga p—ina niya, they want us to build clinics then that we should, instead of arresting or putting them in prison pareho sa ibang countries,” an emotionally-charged Duterte said in speech delivered before Filipino-Chinese businessmen in Pasay City on Friday.
While the EU bloc has consistently raised concerns on Duterte’s brand of leadership, a high-ranking diplomat of an EU member country on Monday vowed that his country wouldn’t meddle with the country’s internal affairs.
“Actually, we are a country which never comments on internal and domestic issues. We understand that it’s only Filipino people who have the right to make a decision about who is leading this country and as we expect others not to judge and criticize our domestic and internal developments, we will never judge and criticize internal developments of other countries,” Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto said.
Szijjarto was in Davao for a meeting with Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo at the Waterfront Insular Hotel. He was the first foreign minister from EU to visit the Davao City, Philippines, the hometown of the first Mindanawon President.(davaotoday.com)