EU says"committed" to working with Philippines, Abella explains Duterte's dare
The European Union said it is working with the Philippines "constructively and productively together in a close partnership in many contexts and areas, including, of course, in the UN context.
"The cooperation covers a very wide range of subjects, including trade, where this year the Philippines made extraordinary progress on its exports to the EU," the EU said in a statement late Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella defended President Rodrigo Duterte's expletives against European Union, including his challenge to cut ties with its members.
In a statement, Abella said Duterte’s expression of outrage was in reaction to statements by a seven-member delegation of the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance which has "falsely portrayed itself" as an EU mission.
"This delegation’s irresponsible statements protesting the alleged killings under the Duterte Administration demean our status as a sovereign nation," he said.
"The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light. For so long has our President tolerated these undue interferences in our domestic affairs, and he has decided that these must stop if only to preserve the integrity and dignity of our State as a sovereign nation," he explained.
That mission has said the Philippines could be expelled from the United Nations Human Rights Council and its preferential trade with EU could be forfeited due to extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the country.
The EU said the recent visit of the delegation of the "International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance" to the Philippines on October 8-9 was not a “European Union mission”, as falsely reported by some media outlets.
"The European Union was not part of the organisation or planning of that visit - neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels. The statements made by the Progressive Alliance during its visit to the Philippines were made solely on behalf of the Progressive Alliance and do not represent the position of the European Union,", the EU added.