EU looks forward to working with Duterte administration

Sunday, May 15th, 2016. Filed under: Philippine News
EU Ambassador Franz Jessen (photo courtesy of  European Union in the Philippines)

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen (photo courtesy of European Union in the Philippines)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The European Union on Thursday said it looks forward to working with the administration of Rodrigo Duterte and hopes that the “dynamic” relations between the Philippines and the EU would continue under a 2012 bilateral agreement that promotes human rights and anti-corruption efforts.

“We are now awaiting the official announcement. Rodrigo Duterte is the presumptive 16th President-elect, and I am looking forward to taking the EU-Philippines agenda forward with him and his administration,” EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said in a statement.

“The EU has been encouraged by the dynamic development of our relations with the Philippines over the recent years in all aspects, from political to economic, grade and development cooperation,” he added.

Jessen said he expects the new government under Duterte would “continue on this path” under the Partnership Cooperation Agreement [PCA] agreed in 2012 between the Philippines and the EU.

The PCA, the first-ever bilateral and comprehensive pact by Manila and the EU, provides the legal basis for the two parties to cooperate on areas such as human rights, anti-corruption, education, money laundering, drugs, organized crime, the Mindanao peace process, and trade and investment, among others.

The EU has been has been a staunch advocate of human rights and in contrast, the tough-talking Duterte, who served as prosecutor, lawmaker and Davao City Mayor for 22 years, supports vigilante-style killings against supposed criminals in his city.

Duterte has also been likened to US Republican presidential candidate Donald trump for his use of vulgar language, populist remarks and his anti-establishment criticisms.

In his final campaign speech last week, Duterte, 71, known for his propensity to use extrajudicial solutions to fight crime, told thousands of his ardent supporters to “forget laws and human rights” – a statement that runs counter to the EU’s stance on human rights.

Although a final winner has yet to be proclaimed, a partial unofficial tally of more than 90 percent of voting precincts by the Commission on Elections and its citizen arm, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), showed Duterte is the clear victor, with millions of votes ahead of his opponents.

Jessen lauded the Philippine government for the conduct of orderly elections.

“The EU Delegation and a number of our member states in Manila observed the elections, which took place in an orderly manner. I was encouraged by the high number of people who chose to exercise their democratic rights,” Jessen said.(MNS

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