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Villarin on Duterte order to EU envoys to leave: ‘How immature and insecure’

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Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin scored President Rodrigo Duterte for his “knee-jerk” response to criticisms from European NGOs that prompted him to dare all European Union ambassadors to leave the country within 24 hours.

“President Duterte’s order for EU ambassadors to leave the country shows how immature and insecure is his administration when it comes to international relations and dealing with the negative publicity that his war against drugs has generated,” he said.

He was reacting to Duterte’s angry remarks on Thursday asking the EU ambassadors to leave after an international seven-person delegation, some of them from EU, visited the country and warned that the Philippines might lose its preferential status in a trade deal with EU unless it stopped the drug war.

Villarin said the President’s statement would only be to the country’s detriment.

“It is a knee-jerk policy response to a growing international concern involving human rights violations. It is not to the best interest of our country especially that EU is the second largest trading partner of the Philippines and has enjoyed GSP+ status,” he said.

“It is not interference in our domestic affairs,” Villarin said.

“Rather it shows EU’s concern for our country not being seen as a rogue state when it comes to rule of law and human rights. It should be stressed that there are thousands of Filipinos living in EU that will be adversely affected by kicking out EU ambassadors in our country,” he said.