European Union (EU) Ambassador Franz Jessen feels sorry that talking about the human rights situation in the Philippines is assumed to be an attack on the country.
During Jessen’s interview on “The Chiefs” on Tuesday night, he emphasized that bringing up human rights issues before international institutions like the EU and the United Nations (UN) does not mean to intentionally disgrace the image of the Philippines and its leaders.
“That has not been that easy and I think we have to be much better in the EU side to explain how this actually works also for the Philippines,” he said.
“I’m sorry to see that human rights has been seen as anti-Philippine which is not the intention. To talk about human rights should not be seen as something that is attacking the Philippines. That has never been the intention.”
He also explained that discussing the human rights situations of the PH before the UN Human Rights Council should not be a surprise to anybody anymore.
“For me, the discussion in Geneva in the Human Rights Council was actually the right place to have a discussion on human rights. You have specialized forum where human rights experts are sitting together and talk about human rights,” Jessen stated.
“That means we don’t have to talk about it everywhere because it has been talked among the experts in Geneva,” he noted.
Iceland’s resolution to Duterte’s War on Drugs
He also mentioned that the PH government has shown “a little bit of irritation” to EU nations that were in favor of a resolution authored by Iceland, that seeks an investigation into Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs. The resolution also urged the PH government to do better in acting over its campaign on illegal drugs to prevent extrajudicial killings.
“We have seen with receptions and couple of other things that turned out to be a bit more complicated than usual. But I think at the end of the day, the government — they probably do see that — yes to talk about human rights in the Human Rights Council should not surprise anybody.”
Jessen did not specifically mention how the administration showed its irritation but he mentioned that no one from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was available to attend the French National Day (Bastille Day celebration) last July 14.
The resolution also seeks to call the Philippine government for its cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation” against rights experts.
European politicians had also issued their concerns over the serious human rights situation in the PH.
Though their statements may be perceived as insulting, Jessen highlighted that the Duterte administration should not react to every little statement from individual politician.