President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday told ambassadors of European Union countries to leave the Philippines after he slammed the EU for being critical towards his administration.
“You leave my country in 24 hours. All of you,” Duterte said in a speech during the inauguration of the newly-renovated press briefing room in Malacañang.
“Just like that you tell us: ‘You will be excluded in the UN’. Son of … go ahead,” Duterte told reporters, adding European nations were taking advantage of the Philippines being poor.
“You give us money then you start to orchestrate what things should be done and which should not happen in our country. You bullshit. We are past the colonization stage. Don’t f… with us.”
Duterte said he was prepared to kick European ambassadors out of the country if their governments tried to expel the Philippines.
“You think we are a bunch of morons here. You are the one. Now the ambassadors of those countries listening now, tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours, all, all of you.”
The EU had no statement calling for the Philippines’ removal from the UN but a seven-member delegation from the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists visited the country and called on the Duterte administration to stop killing suspected drug addicts and silencing its critics.
It was the New York-based Human Rights Watch that warned the Philippines would be at risk of being removed from the UN Human Rights Council because of alleged human rights violation in the country.
In a statement, the EU said it never called for the ouster of the Philippines from the UN.
“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,” the EU said.
The EU said it “was not part of the organization 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,” it said.
The EU and the Philippines, it said, both “work 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,” it said.
Sought for comment, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said there was no instruction from the President yet as of posting time.
“I was informed that as far as our relevant offices are concerned, at this time, DFA has not received any instructions on the matter,” DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said.
President’s expression of outrage
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified Duterte’s remarks.
“The President’s expression of outrage is in reaction to statements by a 7-member delegation of the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance which has falsely portrayed itself as an EU mission,” Abella said.
He said the “delegation’s irresponsible statements protesting the alleged killings under the Duterte administration demean our status as a sovereign nation.”
“The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light,” he said.
“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 added./je
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