PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is simply telling the European Union (EU) not to meddle in the Philippines’ affairs, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified that Duterte’s recent pronouncement saying would be “happy to hang” EU officials, merely emphasized that his administration “should be left alone to be able to do [its] part.”
“It was in the context of non-interference with the national sovereign affairs, simply because...he felt that they were impinging, infringing on national sovereignty to be able to deal with their own situations,” Abella said.
“I’m sure at this time, we understand, it’s more than being literal,” he added.
The EU’s external action service, which is equivalent of a foreign service, summoned Monday Charge d’Affaires Alan Deniega to its Brussels headquarters to provide “an explanation for the recent, unacceptable comments of President Duterte.”
The move came after the President again lashed out at the EU last Friday for criticizing his anti-narcotics crackdown that resulted in the deaths of over 7,000 suspected drug personalities in the country.
“I will just be happy to hang you. If I have the preference, I’ll hang all of you,” Duterte said in an interview upon his arrival from Thailand and Myanmar visits, referring to the EU officials.
While the EU cried foul over Duterte’s expletive-laden statement, Abella bragged that its relationship with the Philippines remains “quite excellent.”
The presidential spokesperson also believes that the EU is merely “creating its own brand of noise.”
“You know, the relationship between the European Union and the Philippines is quite excellent. In fact, they have offered rehabilitation centers, which is socio-therapy based. They also have European businessmen over here,” Abella said.
“However, the European Parliaments seems to be creating its own brand of noise. But basically, if you’re talking about our relationships with Europe, our relationship is quite solid and economically-based,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)