EU says PHL visit of group that prompted Duterte tirade “not an EU mission”

(Eagle News) — The European Union on Thursday emphasized that the recent visit of a group that criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, for, among others, supposedly stifling dissent was “not an (EU) mission.”

The European bloc made the statement after President Duterte again lashed out at them for supposedly interfering in Philippine affairs.

The President’s tirades came days after the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance concluded the administration was exerting efforts to silence dissent, noting what they said were “trumped up charges” against Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, among others.

They also alleged that the “killings of persons accused, without evidence or trial, of involvement in the drug trade, continue unabated even in recent days.”

The group made the conclusion after visiting depressed communities in Metro Manila, and meeting with human rights advocates.

“The (EU) was not part of the organization or planning of that visit–neither the delegation of the (EU) in the Philippines, nor the (EU) institutions in Brussels,” the EU bloc said.

As such, it said 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 (EU).”

“The delegation continues to operate and function normally, and is committed to working constructively and productively with the Philippines for the benefit of the population,” the EU bloc said.

“The cooperation covers a wide range of subjects, including trade, where this year the Philippines made extraordinary progress on its exports to the EU,” the bloc added.