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Verbatim report of proceedings
Thursday, 19 April 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

6.2. Philippines
Video of the speeches

  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest debata nad sześcioma projektami rezolucji w sprawie Filipin (2018/2662(RSP)).


  Tomáš Zdechovský, Autor. – Pane předsedající, já si myslím, že opakovat tady něco o situaci na Filipínách, to je jako „nošení sov do Athén“. Myslím si, že každý, kdo sleduje situaci na Filipínách, tak ví o rostoucím počtu vražd spojených s bojem proti nelegálním drogám. O neustálém porušování lidských práv, o tom, jak došlo k zatčení senátorky Leily de Limaové obviněné z údajného trestního činu spojeného s drogami, informovala všechna světová média. A EU dlouhodobě vyzývá k jejímu propuštění a zajištění spravedlivého procesu.

Prokurátor mezinárodního trestního soudu nedávno zahájil předběžné zkoumání situace na Filipínách. Především nás znepokojuje situace ohledně filipínského prezidenta a jeho výroky, které jsou namířeny proti ženám. A také nás znepokojuje stále častější zabíjení, násilí, zastrašování a obtěžování lidí, kteří bojují za lidská práva, odborářů, farmářů a jejich rodinných příslušníků.

Dámy a pánové, na Filipínách jsme svědky mnoha vražd v souvislosti s drogovou kampaní. A proto jsme dnes připravili rezoluci, která vyzývá filipínskou vládu a všechny filipínské představitele k tomu, aby se situací začali vážně zabývat a aby se snažili situaci skutečně změnit.


  Neena Gill, author. – Mr President, when this House last adopted a resolution on the Philippines in March of last year 7 000 people had lost their lives in President Duterte’s cold-blooded war on drugs. A year on, the number has reached 12 000. How many more?

Those who dare to criticise the Duterte regime face harassment, torture or arrest, this is the fate of activists, journalists and indigenous people. Or they’re simply banned from entering the country, as happened to my colleague Giacomo Filibeck, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Party of European Socialists, who was detained and expelled from the Philippines on Sunday while on his way to a political congress, because he had been critical in the earlier visit.

This is not just an issue for my party. It means that many of our officials can be banned any time when it is vital to keep tabs on the situation, especially given President Duterte’s last month to withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. A point-blank confession that his war on drugs cannot withstand scrutiny.

Business as usual, Commissioner, is longer an option. Having championed GSP+ for the Philippines, it is now time to review it.


  Charles Tannock, author. – Mr President, just over a year since our last resolution on the Philippines, the situation is, sadly, little changed. The self-styled strongman, President Duterte, continues to pursue his war on drugs – a campaign that is so far estimated to have cost the lives of over 12 000 people, many of them youngsters.

Away from his headline-grabbing story, minorities including indigenous peoples continue to be marginalised and victims of human rights abuses. The news that the Philippines gave notice last month of withdrawal from the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court is also of grave concern, and forms part of a wider pattern of authoritarian leaders across the globe quitting the International Criminal Court as an act of defiance against the international rules-based order.

President Duterte’s comments urging other countries to do the same are particularly unwelcome. The intention to reintroduce the death penalty in the Philippines for drug offenses also raises grave concerns for the future direction of that country and illustrates that Duterte’s claims that he will continue in the same vein until his presidential term ends in 2022 are not empty threats.

All taken together, the trajectory of human rights in the Philippines under President Duterte appears to be heading in only one direction, and that is not a very nice one.


  Urmas Paet, author. – Mr President, President Duterte’s war on drugs has taken the lives of around 12 000 people, including women and children. In addition to the killings and massive violation of human rights there is harassment of human rights defenders, critics of Duterte’s actions, indigenous peoples and so on, not to mention Duterte’s own unacceptable behaviour, with his remarks and calls for violence that amount to violation of international humanitarian law.

The threats, intimidation and violence must stop. It is extremely disappointing that the Philippines has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The reasons for this step are obvious. It is an attempt to avoid accountability for the crimes committed. The ICC initiative to inquire into this matter of crimes against humanity in the Philippines is highly welcome and needed, and all those responsible for the heinous crimes must be brought to justice.


  Barbara Lochbihler, Verfasserin. – Herr Präsident! Die Aufforderung des philippinischen Präsidenten an die eigene Polizei, ihre Angriffe auf Menschenrechtsorganisationen zu verstärken, ist nur ein Beispiel für die sich rapide verschlechternde Menschenrechtslage. Es kursiert nur eine offizielle Liste mit etwa 600 Personen, die der Mitgliedschaft in der New Peoples Army beschuldigt und zu Terroristen erklärt werden. Ebenso auf dieser Liste stehen Menschenrechtsaktivisten. Eine davon ist Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, die UN-Sonderberichterstatterin für die Rechte Indigener. Viele der gelisteten Personen haben Angst, Opfer außergerichtlicher Tötungen zu werden.

Wir begrüßen, dass nun die Chefanklägerin des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs eine vorläufige Prüfung eingeleitet hat, um zu klären, ob die Verbrechen im Rahmen des von Duterte ausgerufenen Kriegs gegen Drogen als Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit zu bewerten sind.

Die EU muss alle ihre Möglichkeiten nutzen, um Druck auszuüben, dass diese verheerende Politik korrigiert wird. In diesem Kontext sind Berichte beunruhigend, dass bei zukünftigen Abkommen mit den Philippinen auf die Einfügung von Menschenrechtsklauseln verzichtet werden soll. Das wäre ein katastrophales, falsches Signal. Ich bitte Sie, Frau Kommissarin Malmström, dies zu berücksichtigen.


  Miguel Urbán Crespo, autor. – Señor presidente, con la llamada «guerra contra las drogas», en Filipinas han sido asesinadas más de doce mil personas. Asimismo, con la excusa de la guerra contra el terrorismo, se está atacando, asesinando y criminalizando a los que se oponen al Gobierno y a los proyectos extractivistas y agroindustriales.

Filipinas es el país asiático donde más defensores ambientales han sido asesinados: cuarenta y uno en 2017; muchos de ellos en Mindanao, la capital minera del país.

Mientras los habitantes de Mindanao denuncian la aplicación de la ley marcial, la persecución de líderes sociales indígenas acusados de terrorismo, las violaciones de derechos humanos y la militarización de la región, las multinacionales —¡qué casualidad!— agradecen al Gobierno su protección.

Exigimos que se dejen de comercializar armas y equipos militares a Filipinas; que se eliminen las preferencias comerciales SPG+ y que las actuales negociaciones de libre comercio se congelen.

Toda nuestra solidaridad y apoyo al pueblo filipino y muy especialmente a la población de Mindanao.


  Seán Kelly, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, the situation in the Philippines is deeply troubling. The Philippines and the EU have a long-standing relationship in terms of diplomacy, economy, culture and policy. And indeed there is a long-standing relationship between my country Ireland and Philippines, for many Irish missionaries for centuries have gone to educate young Filipinos.

So it is important that the EU provide its support to the government of the Philippines in restoring stability and respecting the rule of law. Through ratification of the partnership and cooperation agreement, the EU and the Philippines confirmed their joint commitment to the principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, the promotion of social and economic development and to peace and security in the region.

I am particularly concerned, therefore, about the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, which deals with the four core international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. This brings even more urgency to an already volatile situation, and I am hopeful that the Government of the Philippines will reconsider its actions and reverse its decisions.


  Francisco Assis, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, a situação das Filipinas é intolerável e tende a agravar-se cada vez mais. O Governo filipino tem usado de várias medidas visando silenciar a sociedade civil. Um dos estratagemas mais utilizados para esse fim é o da criminalização das ONG e dos defensores dos direitos humanos através de leis que fixam um entendimento demasiado lato do terrorismo.

Foi no contexto deste tipo de legislação que a relatora especial da ONU para os direitos dos povos indígenas, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, foi incluída, juntamente com diversos indígenas defensores de direitos humanos, numa lista de organizações e pessoas alegadamente responsáveis por atividades terroristas.

A inclusão desta relatora especial da ONU põe em causa a sua integridade física, pode pôr mesmo em causa a sua própria vida. Em dezembro passado, esta relatora, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, tinha feito declarações públicas de repúdio pelas políticas de Rodrigo Duterte, nomeadamente os assassínios de membros de comunidades indígenas no sul do país, bem como a deslocação forçada dessas comunidades para outras regiões.

E é bom recordar que em 2017 foram assassinados 41 defensores dos direitos ambientais nas Filipinas. Esta situação é totalmente intolerável e a União Europeia não pode deixar de ter uma palavra em relação a este assunto.


  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, qui est responsable d’une situation? Ceux qui la créent ou ceux qui essaient d’y remédier? Il en est ainsi aussi chez nous, où l’on fait venir des immigrés par milliers, voire par millions dans des zones qui sont déjà des zones de trafic, de non-droit, où, en fin de compte, derrière la pauvreté, il y a aussi la régulation du crime.

Après des décennies de laxisme et de corruption, les Philippines – que je connais bien – sont devenues un pays où la toxicomanie est endémique. Face à une armée structurée de près de 200 000 hommes du crime organisé, le président tente de rétablir l’état de droit et de sauver la population dont 80 % le suit dans son entreprise. Certes, ses méthodes choquent – elles me choquent aussi –, mais pas plus que celles qui consistent à bombarder en Iraq et en Libye, ou celles qui consistent à inventer l’affaire Skripal contre la Russie ou à trouver des armes chimiques pour bombarder contre le droit international.


  Soraya Post (S&D). – Mr President, it is interesting, but I think we that we should stay focused on the resolution on the Philippines. I know that we have another picture of the world, but the human rights situation in the Philippines is extremely alarming at the moment and has been so for quite a while. We are deeply concerned about the Deputy Secretary-General of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Giacomo Filibeck, who was arrested, along with many others, and not allowed to enter the country. So it is also shocking that human rights defenders, indigenous leaders, UN officials, and even national government officials, such as Senator de Lima, are being targeted by the Duterte Government.

I strongly condemn the violent language also used by President Duterte about women. It seems that his war on drugs has also turned into a war against women. We cannot, I think, wait any longer. It is our obligation to take stronger action than before, even if this meant that we would have to reconsider GSP+ privileges.


Zgłoszenia z sali


  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Na wstępie chciałbym zaprotestować przeciwko poglądowi, który pojawił się na tej sali, że można wprowadzać praworządność, łamiąc praworządność. To nie jest droga – to jest jedynie usprawiedliwienie ewentualnych zbrodni.

Druga istotna dla mnie sprawa to to, że bardzo często zajmujemy się, właśnie w formie rezolucji, sprawami państw odległych, takich jak Wenezuela, Kolumbia, a dzisiaj Filipiny. Interesuje mnie, czy mamy jakiś „follow-up” tych naszych aktywności. Od razu dodam, że nie jestem zwolennikiem niepodejmowania tych tematów, ale dla mnie bardzo ważne jest, aby zapobiegać inflacji w tej materii, jak również starać się doprowadzać do tego, żeby rezolucje miały swój skutek – nie tylko prewencyjny, ale faktyczny.

To jest pytanie do Pani Komisarz – do jakiego stopnia te rezolucje pomagają naszym służbom zewnętrznym?


  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, effectivement, malgré de nombreux appels de la communauté, inquiète de la multiplication des meurtres liés à la lutte contre la drogue, le président philippin, Rodrigo Duterte, reste droit dans ses bottes. Pire, il s’enferme dans une attitude hostile à l’égard de la Cour pénale internationale et s’autorise toutes les régressions sur le plan démocratique: volonté de rétablir la peine de mort, provocations multiples à l’égard des minorités, vexations à l’égard de la société civile, attaques verbales contre les femmes allant même – rendez-vous compte – jusqu’à demander leur viol ou leur assassinat!

Cela est évidemment inacceptable, c’est pourquoi nous devons exiger avec force la fin des exactions et rappeler aux autorités philippines leurs engagements internationaux. L’exclusion de cet État du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies avant la fin de son mandat actuel est une piste, mais d’autres sanctions, notamment de nature économique, pourraient intervenir.


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το χτύπημα των εμπόρων ναρκωτικών πρέπει να γίνει στο πλαίσιο του κράτους δικαίου, πρέπει να επιβληθούν φυσικά αυστηρές ποινές και πρέπει επίσης να μην γίνεται καμία απελευθέρωση εμπόρων ναρκωτικών από τις φυλακές με οποιοδήποτε πρόσχημα - γιατί αυτό συμβαίνει πολλές φορές. Όμως στις Φιλιππίνες ο πόλεμος κατά των ναρκωτικών έχει εξελιχθεί πλέον σε μία εκκαθαριστική επιχείρηση που διεξάγουν οι ένοπλες δυνάμεις με πάνω από 20.000 θύματα και με εξωδικαστικές εκτελέσεις. Ταυτόχρονα, ο Πρόεδρος των Φιλιππίνων αξιοποιεί αυτή την ευκαιρία του πολέμου, όπως λέει κατά των ναρκωτικών, για να αντιμετωπίσει πολύ σκληρά τους πολιτικούς του αντιπάλους και φυσικά οδηγεί τις Φιλιππίνες σε ακραίες καταστάσεις με βία κατά των γυναικών και επαναφορά της θανατικής ποινής. Επομένως, πρέπει να ληφθούν μέτρα κατά των Φιλιππίνων, καταργώντας για παράδειγμα τις γενικές δασμολογικές προτιμήσεις Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με τις οποίες εισάγονται αδασμολόγητα πλέον προϊόντα των Φιλιππίνων εδώ στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.


  Ignazio Corrao (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il clima di terrore che sta avvolgendo le Filippine ha raggiunto livelli estremamente preoccupanti, che non possono essere più tollerati.

La dura guerra alla droga portata avanti dal presidente Duterte sta portando con sé un numero allarmante di vittime cadute sotto i colpi della polizia e dei mercenari, troppo spesso in modo sommario, senza processo e senza alcuna motivazione plausibile. Un presidente di uno Stato sovrano che giustifica lo stupro, che incoraggia la repressione armata di attivisti e che incita all'uccisione di donne non può essere ignorato.

Sebbene la dura repressione al traffico di droga e la lotta senza quartiere alla criminalità organizzata siano delle battaglie assolutamente condivisibili, qui oggi non stiamo discutendo del fine ma dei metodi. Nelle Filippine si sta assistendo infatti a un numero spaventoso di esecuzioni extragiudiziali per mano di polizia e mercenari, mascherate da operazione antidroga. A farne le spese non sono i signori della droga ma, in prevalenza, persone di bassa estrazione sociale dei quartieri più poveri di Manila.

Ritengo pertanto necessario da parte nostra esercitare tutta la pressione possibile sul presidente Duterte affinché ponga immediatamente fine alle esecuzioni extragiudiziali e garantisca un giusto processo alla sua lunga lista di sospetti terroristi.


  Csaba Sógor (PPE). – Elnök Úr! A Fülöp-szigeteken tapasztalható drogellenes háború számos kérdést vet fel, amelyekre már rámutattak az emberi jogok védelmével foglalkozó nemzetközi szervezetek is. Két fontos aspektusra hívnám fel a figyelmet. Az egyik az erőszak állami monopóliumával kapcsolatos probléma. Az erőszakos eszközökkel való fellépés az állami szervek, kiemelten a rendőrség feladata, mégis sok olyan hír lát napvilágot a Fülöp-szigeteken, hogy a civilek is önbíráskodásba fognak, a jelenség fölött pedig szemet hunynak a hatóságok.

Ez rendkívül veszélyes és öngerjesztő folyamat, mely könnyen ellenőrizhetetlenné válik, amellett persze, hogy a polgárok biztonsághoz való jogát – amelyet szintén a rendőrség hivatott védeni – semmibe veszi. A másik probléma épp a jogbiztonság hiánya. Ha bárki eldöntheti bírósági tárgyalás nélkül, hogy ki az, aki drogokkal való visszaélés miatt büntetést, akár halált érdemel, akkor visszatértünk az őskorba, bár még ott is működtek valamiféle szabályok. Pontszerű visszaélések persze minden országban történnek sajnos, a Fülöp-szigeteken azonban, úgy tűnik, hogy állami politikát csinálnak ebből.


  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, "se ostacolano la giustizia, sparategli!", parole agghiaccianti che il presidente castigatore Duterte pronunciava l'agosto scorso, quando istruiva la polizia su come attaccare i difensori dei diritti umani e chiunque si mettesse di mezzo alla sua pulizia della nazione.

Parole tristemente attuali: oltre diecimila morti, di cui meno della metà ammessi dalla polizia e giustificati con una reazione all'arresto. La cosiddetta lotta contro la droga di Duterte continua imperterrita; la giustizia è costantemente negata a migliaia di innocenti e alle loro famiglie; gli abusi dei diritti umani si moltiplicano a dismisura. A combattere contro questa violenza dilagante restano pochi attivisti e giornalisti e anche parte della classe politica.

Da 14 mesi Leila De Lima è detenuta illegalmente nella prigione di Manila: nessun processo, nessuna prova. Avevamo già condannato il suo arresto. Oggi dobbiamo alzare la voce e chiedere al governo di rilasciare immediatamente la senatrice, di non ritirarsi dallo statuto di Roma e di collaborare con le indagini della Corte penale internazionale.

L'Unione europea deve esercitare ogni pressione possibile per chiedere alle Filippine di adempiere ai loro obblighi internazionali e al presidente Duterte porre fine a questa sua vera e propria politica del terrore.


(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)


  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, on behalf of the EU, we have expressed strong concerns about the various human rights issues in the Philippines on numerous occasions, both in bilateral meetings at political level with the government as well as in different statements.

The issues that have been raised are the issues you raised here: the high number of killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs, the climate of impunity, the declared withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, the possible reintroduction of the death penalty, as well as a possible lowering of the age for criminal responsibility to nine years.

Further, the issue of the general situation of human rights defenders have been raised: the arrest of Senator De Lima and challenges to the freedom of expression and opinion as well as to the independence of institutions, including the impeachment procedures initiated against the chief justice.

This has been raised in different declarations and statements by the EU28 Human Rights Council, the High Representative’s spokesperson and we addressed it in a very comprehensive way in the EU Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (GSP+) monitoring report that I discussed here with you earlier this year. I have also personally met with Filipino representatives of government on numerous occasions where I have raised the concerns.

We are closely monitoring development, especially now regarding the petition of 21 February by the Department of Justice, which includes a list of more than 600 individuals, alleging that they are members of the Communist Party and the New People’s Army. The list includes inter alia, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People. We note that UN special rapporteurs are protected by specific diplomatic protocols during their United Nations-mandated work.

Regarding all the individuals on the list, the EU expects the Government of the Philippines to fulfil, in all its proceedings on the matter, its obligation under national and international law, in particular, the respect of the rule of law and human rights, and to ensure their physical safety. That includes the right to due process, the independence of the judiciary and a fair trial for every individual.

We are disturbed by the denial of entry into the Philippines and the subsequent forced deportation from the country of the PES Group Deputy Secretary-General Giacomo Filibeck. He was blacklisted for participating in supposed illegal political activities, where as you know and you also referred to, he was officially invited to attend the congress of Akbayan, an opposition party which is represented both in the Senate and in the House. We immediately raised the matter with the government, as this is the first case of a foreign-national and an EU citizen being expelled from the country for political reasons during the current administration.

Human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, and widespread impunity have been a long-standing problem in the Philippines, as highlighted in the GSP+ report. We remain convinced that both the Philippines and the EU have most to gain from constructive engagement. The partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and the Philippines entered into force on 1 March this year. And this agreement foresees the establishment of a structured human rights dialogue between the parties, which will be an important forum for addressing all human rights issues.

The issue of the GSP+ commitment was raised by several of you, as you remember we discussed this in this plenary in January where we highlighted that indeed, there are several areas of progress by the Philippine Government when it comes to the work on gender equality health, education, social and economic rights, labour rights, fight against corruption, protection of the environment.

However – and this was also very clear in the report – extra-judicial killings, especially in the fight against drugs-related impunity, and the possible reintroduction of the death penalty were mentioned. We also addressed recommendations to the Philippine Government and I have also personally conveyed them to the minister that they need to do more to address the issues we have discussed here.

We are monitoring the situation closely, and this year’s GSP+ monitoring mission will focus on the issues related to the war on drugs. And the EU will assess recent developments before deciding on the next steps. You can count on the European Commission and on the External Action Service to continue raising these matters with the Philippine Government in a clear and constructive way.


  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się po zakończeniu debat.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)


  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE), in writing. – President Duterte’s murderous ‘drug war’ entered its second year resulting in the killing of more than 12,000 drug suspects. Duterte has responded to increased criticism of his anti-drug campaign by impugning, harassing, and threatening critics of the government and human rights defenders. Under unclear circumstances and fabricated evidences Senator Leila M. de Lima has been put in jail while at the same time the UN Special Rapporteur, Ms Tauli-Corpuz, has been put in the terrorist list. Unfortunately, President Duterte’s rule looks more like an authoritarian regime rather than democracy. Under his term the principle of the rule of law has not been respected in Philippines and human rights have been constantly abused by the government. In this context, I call on the authorities of the Philippines to immediately stop the extrajudicial killings, to prosecute all perpetrators, to respect the rule of law and international human rights law. In addition, the EU must support the independent international investigation into the unlawful killings and other violations in the Philippines in the context of President Duterte’s actions. Last but not least, I call on the Philippines to remove UNSR Tauli-Corpuz from the terrorist list and to ensure that Senator Lima has the right to fair trial.


  Rolandas Paksas (EFDD), raštu. – Ne kartą esu pabrėžęs, jog esminė valstybės pareiga ir funkcija yra tinkamai, efektyviai užtikrinti jos piliečių bei gyventojų teises, sukurti visuomenės klestėjimui ir vystymuisi palankią terpę. Esu tvirtai įsitikinęs, kad Filipinų valdžia privalo imtis neatidėliotinų priemonių, siekdama užkirsti kelią narkotikų platinimui ir vartojimui, masiniams žmonių žudymams, terorizmo nusikaltimams, vystyti aktyvų tarptautinį bendradarbiavimą nusikalstamumo prevencijos srityse. Mano nuomone, smurtu grindžiama bauginimo ir priespaudos politika nėra tinkama ir proporcinga priemonė iškeltiems taikos ir gerovės Filipinuose tikslams pasiekti. Būtina užkirsti kelią mirties bausmės taikymui, užtikrinti, kad teisingumo būtų įmanoma siekti taikiomis, adekvačiomis priemonėmis, garantuojant asmens teisę į gynybą, į teisingą ir nešališką teismo procesą. Didelį dėmesį reikia skirti visuomenės sveikatai, gauti tinkamą gydymą ir padėti socializuotis nusikaltimų aukoms bei jų giminėms. Taip pat imtis veiksmų švietimo ir mokslo sistemai gerinti, kelti visuomenės socialinį bei ekonominį lygį.

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