Recently, on 12th of October, the Filipino Head of State gave a very passionate speech to his people. Duerte is known for his hard policies and strong words, however this time took aim at a very powerful target, the European Union.
The speech comes in response to a statement released last week from European lawmakers who visited the archipelago nation. Those lawmakers traveled to the Philippines with a group called ‘Progresive Alliance’.
The group sent their ‘International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance’ to Manila in order to investigate the condition of the nation during the on-going War on Drugs.
Duerte’s controversial War on Drugs has caused waves in the international community due to its unprecedented violence. Philippine Police forces have claimed 3,850 people have been killed by officers since the President took office last year.
The Progressive Alliance delegates, after completing the trip, have recommended that the European Union (EU) tighten its terms of trade with the Philippines due to human rights reasons.
In a statement issued by the EU’s official delegate in Manila, the bloc claims the mission was in no way sanctioned by the EU.
“The recent visit of the delegation of the ‘International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance’ to the Philippines on 8-9 October was not a ‘European Union mission’, as falsely reported by some media outlets,”
President Duerte, however, was not convinced by the politicking from the seven-member delegation. In fact, the Filipino leader believes that Europe is attempting to have the United Nations expel the Philippines.
“We will be excluded in the UN? You son of a b****. Go ahead. You are interfering in our affairs because we are poor. You give money and then you start to orchestrate what things should be done. You (EU delegates) leave my country in 24 hours, all, all of you.”
The remainder of the speech was equally expletive-packed, however Duerte did not reveal any specific evidence to his claims. His out-burst also comes just before the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which will be attended by US President Trump.
The Philippines is also in negotiations with the EU over their trade agreement. No word over how Duerte’s comments will affect those negotiations, however the President has claimed if Filipino-European trade is interrupted, he will seek a trade deal with China and Russia instead.
Currently the Philippines enjoys a limited duty-free agreement with the EU, with about 6,200 products allowed to enter the European market without tariff.
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