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By Prince Golez

Palace Spokesman Harry Roque can’t hide his frustration after the European Union (EU) Parliament threatened trade sanctions against the Philippines over deteriorating human rights and democracy in the country.

“Kung gusto nilang dagdagan ang pahirap ng sambayanang Pilipino sa panahon ng pandemiya, so be it. We will accept that as history repeating itself,” Roque said during his virtual presser Friday.

In a September 17 resolution, the EU’s legislative assembly called on the European Commission to withdraw special trade incentives granted to the Philippines under its Generalized System of Preferences Plus if it doesn’t act to improve the human rights situation.

The Palace official also called the EU Parliament’s statement on the human rights situation in the Philippines a “classic case of misinformation” and urged Filipino congressmen to attend inter-parliamentary forums to refute the lies being spread by Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison in Europe.

“Tama na yang mga diskusyon na yan. Gawin nila ang gusto nilang gawin. Sa mga panahon na ito, if they want to implement it, go ahead. They will be the biggest contributor to the violation of right to life of Filipinos,” said Roque.

“Sinasabi nila human rights violations, sinasabi natin bukas ang mga hukuman. Ayaw naman nila maniwala. Puwede naman sila pumunta rito. Ang tingin nila mukha tayong Somalia na failed government. I am sorry I am being very undiplomatic in my answer pero what else can I say, at the time of pandemic they are threatening us? Susmayosep! What else do we lose?”

On Wednesday, the EU lawmakers adopted a resolution criticizing the serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, in the government’s war on drugs.

They also called on the Duterte administration to renew the ABS-CBN Corp.’s franchise and to drop the charges against Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa and detained Senator Leila de Lima.

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