Updated 11:33 AM PHT Mon, March 20, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit back at the European Union (EU) for meddling with the issues of the Philippines.
"Why are you trying to impose on us?" he said in a speech Sunday at a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he was on a two-day official visit.
"Why won't you mind your own business," he added.
Duterte's statements come after the European Parliament on Friday issued a joint resolution calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested on February 24 on drug charges.
The President also responded to the body's suggestion that the ongoing drug war must go hand-in-hand with measures for prevention and detoxification, including the opening of new rehabilitation centers.
"This EU Parliament, prinopose nila lahat na lang na addicts, bigyan nalang," Duterte said. "Kung shabu, bigyan ng shabu. Kung cocaine, bigyan ka ng cocaine. Magpunta ka lang sa center."
[Translation: This EU Parliament is proposing that we just give drugs to addicts. If they're addicted to shabu, we should give them shabu. If they're addicted to cocaine, we should give them cocaine. They just need to go to the center.]
The government has moved into the second phase of its war on drugs by shifting towards reforming drug dependents by building more rehabilitation centers, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in October 2016.
Duterte and the EU
Duterte has chastised the EU since it criticized the war on drugs he launched in July 2016.
In September 2016, he challenged the United Nations and EU lawyers to come to the Philippines to prove their claims of alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.
The President said he should be given the opportunity to be heard by them.
"In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, matapos nila akong tanungin, tatanungin ko sila. Iisa-isahin ko sila," he said. "Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin yang mga yawa na 'yan."
[Translation: In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them. You watch. Watch me discredit those idiots.]
In October 2016, Duterte challenged the United States and the EU to pull out their aid to the Philippines.
"If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead," he said. "We will not beg for it," Duterte said.
Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' EU Trade Consultations earlier this month that the Philippines's human-rights record — from the war on drugs to the proposed reimposition of the death penalty — could be a sticking point in free-trade agreements between Philippines and the EU.
"The European Parliament and member-states have some concerns about this development," she said."We are discussing this with our partners in the Philippines."
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said if the EU doesn't budge on its allegations of alleged extrajudicial killings, the Philippines would not be swayed by conditions imposed on it by international bodies.
"If this drug war, the death penalty, are the best ways to respond to criminality, then that is what we must pursue," Lopez said.