The Daily Manila Shimbun


DFA silent on envoy’s explanation to EU on Duterte’s “unacceptable” remarks

March 28, 2017

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was silent on how a Philippine envoy explained to European Union officials President Rodrigo Duterte's harsh language against them.

DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in a news conference Philippine Embassy Charge d’Affaires Alan Deniega was invited on Monday by European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General Jean-Christophe Belliard in Belgium.

The EU said it summoned Deniega to explain Duterte's "unacceptable comments,” citing in a press statement Duterte's speech last week where he threatened to hang the European bloc’s officials for opposing his efforts to restore death penalty.

"The Charge d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Belgium took note of the representation made by the EU and at the same time took the opportunity to inform the EU side of the developments in the Philippines to make them understand the real situation in the country,” Jose said.

Jose did not give details, but said Deniega gave a full report to the DFA.

Jose said the Philippine side discussed “issues of mutual concern to Philippines-EU relations.”

Duterte has lambasted the EU for raising concerns over his campaign against narcotics and his call to revive the death penalty.

"I will just be happy to hang you. If I have the preference, I'll hang all of you," Duterte said in his arrival statement last Friday after his visit to Myanmar and Thailand.

"You are putting us down. You are exerting pressure in every country with the death penalty."

Duterte also heavily criticized the EU for suggesting "a health-based solution" to the country's problem with illegal drugs.

"At no time has the EU Delegation suggested, discussed, proposed or considered the use of any substitution drugs when treating addiction to methamphetamine, or any other drug addiction in the Philippines," the EU said. DMS