A 12-member delegation from the European Union (EU) is in the country on what is being described as a four-day “fact-sharing” mission.
The group includes EU’s Sub-committee on Human Rights members Soraya Post (Sweden), Adam Kosa (Hungary), Joseph Weidenholzer (Austria), and Rikker Karlsson (Denmark).
We all know, of course, that the trip is obviously a “fishing expedition” aimed at gathering ‘information’ to justify EU’s recent resolutions criticizing the alleged extrajudicial killings under Duterte’s war on drugs, and demanding the immediate release of incarcerated Senator Leila de Lima.
The mission would not be complete without the well-publicized visit with De Lima at her detention cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
Politikal Pinoy believes that while most Filipinos are skeptical of — and perhaps even angry about — the EU mission, it actually speaks well of President Duterte.. For how can a leader accused of violations of human rights and of being a dictator even allow this biased and misinformed group to come to the country, and more so to visit self-proclaimed “political prisoner” de Lima? He could have easily blocked their entry to the Philippines and ordered the PNP to deny a visit with the senator.
We can only anticipate the group to come up with some derogatory report, as I am sure Commission on Human Rights’ Chito Gascon and his group, as well as political leaders identified with the Opposition, will do all they can to paint a less-than-rosy picture of the Duterte government. It will not be a surprise if the likes of Senators Trillanes, Hontiveros and Aquino are meeting, or have already met with the group. Also expect the biased local media to collude in this effort.
But Duterte is always true to his word about defending each person’s right to criticize him. He has proven again and again that he respects the constitutional right of everyone to free speech.
The fact that the EU group is here and is not being prevented from what to say or do while in the country is a slap on the face for those who have been very critical of the president and who have been trying to destabilize the Duterte government.
We can only wait and see if the group chooses to be selective in the people they meet while in the Philippines to conduct their fact-finding. Hopefully they find and report facts and not faux.
We hope that they also meet with Filipinos who are among the 82% who fully support Duterte