Pubdate: Tue, 30 Aug 2016
Source: Philippine Star (Philippines)
Copyright: PhilSTAR Daily Inc. 2016
Author: Jose Rodel Clapano


The Europen Union ( EU) has expressed concern over the spate of 
killings in the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal 
drugs, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said yesterday.

In a press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 
Dureza said when he met with EU officials in Brussels, Belgium last 
Aug. 25, "they asked about the issue on drug campaign in the country."

"They told me that many people are being killed... So many of our 
agreements with the EU have something to do with human rights issues, 
like the free tariff privilege with the EU. It is important that we 
clarified it to them," Dureza said.

"They know exactly what is happening here. They have their own people 
here, they have their embassies here also... We have to make it clear 
that we share values on the protection of human rights and due 
process," he said.

He noted that President Duterte, as a prosecutor and lawyer, "adheres 
to the shared values on the protection of human rights and due process."

"I told them that the President even created internally specific 
groups to look into those issues, the so-called excesses of our 
police authorities and then also look into the issues of many of 
those possible killings because they are amazed. Aside from the fact 
that there are killings, there are many who voluntarily surrender," he added.

Dureza said that he also told EU officials that Duterte has his way 
and he has to fulfill his campaign promise to stop the drug trade.

Dureza's trip to Brussels also involved the planned trip to the 
Philippines of Princess Astrid, sister of Prince Philip of Belgium.

"I flew from Oslo, Norway to Brussels, the capital of the European 
Union, because the Belgian government was very interested to know 
about the peace process and because of the planned visit of Princess 
Astrid, sister of Prince Philip of Belgium, who is scheduled to come 
here in May 2017 to head a high level economic team for investments," he said.

Dureza also briefed the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of 
Belgium about the developments in the peace process.

"They ( EU officials) are the biggest supporters in the Bangsamoro 
negotiations. They help in terms of funds and grants. So we thought 
that it is also an occasion for us to express the President's 
appreciation for their very strong support," Dureza said.
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