President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as leader of the country has been put into the spotlight again in the international limelight, but the sad news it is not abut an issue we should be proud of.

The EU Parliament adopted a resolution pushing for immediate trade sanctions against the Philippines. 

A possible trade sanctions will be lobbied against the Philippines as the European lawmakers said “"rapidly deteriorating human rights" situation and extrajudicial killings under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency.

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The resolution called on the European Commission to initiate the procedure for the temporary withdrawal of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) program granted by the 27-nation bloc to the Philippines "in the absence of any substantial improvement and willingness to cooperate on the part of the Philippine authorities."

Department of Trade of Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez has defended the  country saying that the Philippine government is cooperating with the EU Commission, the main institution implementing the GSP+ scheme that grants zero tarfifs for the country's exports to Europe.

Lopez is confident Philippine representatives are effectively proving those allegations are not true.

"So far, we are able to explain objectively the Philippines side on issues that are raised and we don't see any reason why our GSP+ privilege will be withdrawn," he said in a statement.

As for Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque which lost his cool when he heard about the possible sanction to handed down to the country by EU said the country has nothing to lose since the economy has been really hit hard caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Kung gusto nilang dagdagan ang pahirap ng samabayang Pilipino sa panahon ng pandemya, so be it! Gawin na nila ang gusto nilang gawin! Sa mga panahon na ito, if they want to implement it, go ahead!" he said. 

"So far, we are able to explain objectively the Philippines side on issues that are raised and we don't see any reason why our GSP+ privilege will be withdrawn," he said in a statement.

European Parliament member Hannah Neumann said the President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration continues to enjoy the benefits of the tariff deal despite his administration's dismal human rights record. She called for the "immediate" cancellation of this privilege by starting the revocation procedure on September 21.

"Duterte, the President of the Philippines, who is encouraging his own services to kill tens of thousands of people, still enjoys trade privileges of the EU under the GSP+ scheme, that are supposedly linked to improvements in human rights, but the situation is just getting worse," she said. "And that's why I'm so happy that across all political parties, in this resolution, we call on the Commission to start the procedure to revoke these privileges immediately, and to be frank, by immediately, we mean by Monday."

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Report from CNN Philippines



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