Philippines defends Duterte’s ‘unacceptable’ remarks

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Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte

The Philippine Government on Tuesday defended a recent expletive-laden tirade by President Rodrigo Duterte against the European Union, after the bloc summoned the country’s envoy to explain the “unacceptable” remarks.

Duterte had called members of the European Parliament “sons of bitches” and threatened to hang them all for urging Philippine authorities to stop legislation to reinstate the death penalty in the country.

Presidential spokesman, Ernesto Abella, told a news conference when asked how the Philippine envoy explained Duterte’s remarks.

“It was in the context of non-interference with national sovereign affairs.

“The president felt that they were impinging and infringing on national sovereignty.

“He was emphasising that we should be left alone to be able to do our part,’’ Abella said.

The EU’s external action service, which is equivalent to a foreign ministry, summoned the Philippines’ charge d’affaires in Brussels on Monday to discuss Duterte’s comments.

“We wanted to receive an explanation for the recent, unacceptable comments of President Duterte,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in a statement.

On March 23, Duterte warned the EU to stop pressuring the Philippines and other South-East Asian countries about the death penalty.

“You fools, you sons of bitches, stop interfering with us, no one will tell you, so I will tell you, you are all fools.

“I will just be happy to hang you, if I have the preference, I’ll hang all of you, because you are putting us down.

“You are exerting pressure in every country with the death penalty,’’ Duterte said. (dpa/NAN)

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