Press Release
April 24, 2018


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday chided the Duterte government's foreign policy, saying that it is protecting impunity rather than Philippine sovereignty.

Hontiveros issued the statement after Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano accused the European Parliament of "interference in Philippine affairs" and "crossing a red line" by passing a resolution condemning the Duterte government's war on drugs and extrajudicial killings.

"President Duterte's foreign policy is protecting impunity not sovereignty. He and his ilk are the ones who are 'crossing the red line'. His foreign policy people like to use the word 'sovereignty' when what they really want to do is silence all forms of dissent, domestic and international, while they stay appallingly silent about China's blatant incursions into our territory," Hontiveros said.

This administration likes to insist that its war on drugs, which violates our international commitments to human rights, is an issue of sovereignty, but in the same breath, it cannot defend our territory against China. This is not a defense of sovereignty. It is shameless cowardice," Hontiveros added.

The opposition Senator urged her fellow lawmakers to lead the effort in crafting an independent and progressive foreign policy.

"I appeal to my colleagues to join hands in pushing for a foreign policy founded on the principles of equality and human rights, particularly the right to life and dignity, and in the context of our other challenges, such as China and the West Philippine Sea," Hontiveros stressed.

A foreign affairs policy that nurtures impunity and the climate of killing while surrendering our sovereignty & territories to China cripples our standing in the international community. The country needs a foreign policy that is truly reflective of the Filipino people's interests and aspirations," Hontiveros said.

In its resolution, the European Parliament urged the European Union and its member-states to "consider calling for" the removal of the Philippines from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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