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Palace explains Duterte's statements vs. EU

Malacañang on Thursday had to issue at least three statements to clarify the statements of President Rodrigo Duterte, who lashed out at the European Union.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in his first statement, explained that Duterte only made the harsh remarks because a group poised itself as a mission from the EU government.

Abella explained that, "The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light."

He was referring to the seven-member delegation of the Progressive Alliance and Party of European Socialists that urged the government to stop the killings and warned of strained trading relationships with the international community.

Duterte earlier told the EU diplomats to leave the Philippines in 24 hours on supposed calls to oust the Philippines from the United Nations.

The delegation and the EU, however, made no such remarks. It was the New York-based Human Rights Watch that made the warning of a possible expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council—not UN.



Abella late Thursday night released two more statements clarifying Duterte’s remarks.

He said the EU Delegation to the Philippines explained that the remarks of the Progressive Alliance and Party of European Socialists were not EU’s official statements.

Abella also issued a response to HRW’s warning that the Philippines could be evicted from the UNHRC, but without linking it to Duterte’s rants.



"The only basis for suspension of privileges of members of the UNHRC is for the concerned member to have committed 'gross and systematic violations of human rights' and such decision is not of the UNHRC but by 2/3 vote of the members of the UN General Assembly present and voting," Abella said. — BAP, GMA News