The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today welcomed the resolution issued by the European Parliament expressing “deepest concern at the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.” Members of the Parliament approved the resolution on Thursday with 626 votes in favor, seven against and 52 abstentions.
“Much like Marcos before his ouster, Duterte has now become an international pariah,” said CPP Chief Information Officer Marco L. Valbuena. “The EU parliament vote confirms how isolated the Duterte regime is not only from the Filipino people but from the international community as well.”
“Indeed, Duterte has become a world leader in terms of abuses and corruption,” pointed out Valbuena. “He is now among the ranks of Hitler, Mussolini, Marcos, Suharto, Idi Amin, Lukashenko, Park Chung Hee and other detested dictators who butchered their people and plundered their nation.”
In media interviews, Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque claimed the EU Parliament vote was influenced by the CPP which “has strong influence in Europe.” Valbuena said Roque is “red-tagging obsessed.”
“It is the height of this regime’s paranoia to claim that the CPP influenced 626 members of the EU Parliament to point out what is already obvious — that Rodrigo Duterte is a murderous, vengeful tyrant, intent on destroying his own people to further his fascist ambitions,” added Valbuena. “False it might be but thank you for the unwitting compliment.”
The lawmakers urged the EU and its member states to support the adoption of a resolution at the ongoing 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an independent international probe into human rights violations committed by the Duterte regime since it sat in power in 2016.
Members of the European Parliament denounced “the thousands of extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations related to the so-called war on drugs.” Earlier on September 8, Human Rights Watch exposed that Duterte’s drug killing spree has further escalated during the pandemic with at least 155 persons killed by the police in the past four months. The Parliament called on the regime to “put an immediate end to all violence targeting suspected drug offenders, and to disband private and state-backed paramilitary groups.”
The lawmakers also condemned “all threats, harassment, intimidation, rape and violence against those who seek to expose allegations of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the country, including human rights and environmental activists, trade unionists and journalists.” The lawmakers cited and denounced the extrajudicial killing of activists Randall Echanis, Jory Porquia and Zara Alvarez this year, and of 43 land rights defenders in 2019.
Expressing alarm about the “deteriorating level of press freedom” in the Philippines, the Parliament described the Philippine Congress’ vote to deny the renewal of ABS-CBN as “an act of retaliation for the media’s coverage of the anti-drugs campaign and serious human rights abuses.” The lawmakers also described the conviction of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and researcher Reynaldo Santos, as well as of Sen. Leila de Lima as “politically motivated” and demanded that all charges against them be dropped.