Verify facts, DFA tells European parliament on rights situation
THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has called on the parliament of the European Union (EU) to verify its information on supposed extrajudicial killings in the country and not merely rely on media reports.
DFA spokesperson Charles Jose on Monday said, “The Philippines and the European Union have a long-standing close partnership and it is the right of the duly elected EU lawmakers to issue such a statement.
“But we would like to call on the members of the EU Parliament to verify the information [on the human rights situation in the Philippines] and not base their statement on mere media reports,” Jose said in a press briefing.
The European Parliament (EP) last week issued a statement expressing concern about the human rights abuses and summary killings in the Philippines, alongside African states Somalia and Zimbabwe that suffer lingering civil unrest, armed conflict and repressive regimes.
In plenary session
The EP held a plenary session in Brussels to tackle the human rights situation in the three countries.
“The parliament condemns the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings in the Philippines, the deteriorating security and widespread intimidation in Somalia, and the growing violence against demonstrators and breaches of human rights in Zimbabwe, in three resolutions voted on Thursday,” an EP statement said.
The EP legislators earlier condemned the bombing in Davao City’s night market on Sept. 2 which left 14 people dead and 70 wounded.
The legislators called on the EU Delegation to the Philippines to “monitor carefully the ‘rule of lawlessness’” declared by the Philippine government after the Davao attack.
The EP statement said that while “millions of people are hurt by the high level of drug addiction and its consequences in the country [we] are also concerned by the “extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations in the context of an intensified anticrime and antidrug campaign.”
The statement cited Philippine National Police figures that showed that “from July 1 to Sept. 4, police killed 1,000 suspected drug pushers and users and arrested more than 15,000 drug suspects.”
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