University of the Philippines Professor Clarita R. Carlos (Photo from Prof. Carlos FB page)

MANILA – A political analyst took to social media her stand on the recent recommendation of European Union (EU) lawmakers to impose economic sanctions on Philippine goods entering their markets because of an alleged violation of human rights, closure of a broadcast network, and cases of a detained legislator and a journalist.

“While there is the much-debated “responsibility to protect” underpinned on the oneness of humanity, let us also remind the EU that before they start throwing stones in our direction, better check first the glasshouses they also live in,” said University of the Philippines Political Science Professor Clarita R. Carlos in her Facebook post on Sept. 18.

Carlos was reacting to European lawmakers' recommendation on September 17 for the revocation of the Philippines' Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status that provides tariff perks on Philippine goods.

Under the EU’s GSP+ the Philippines could enjoy zero duties on its exports to the EU of products falling under more than 6,000 tariff lines.

The EU Parliament, in its resolution, cited the findings of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that at least 8,663 people had been killed in relation to the anti-drug campaign as of June 2020; “deteriorating level of press freedom” with the cyber libel conviction of Rappler’s Maria Ressa and a former Rappler researcher-writer, and shutdown of ABS-CBN; and detention of Senator Leila de Lima. 

“Since the EU wants to take the moral high ground, let us just remind them that right at their shores are thousands of refugees in despicable and inhumane conditions,  which the 26 EU members are tossing about as each one refuses to take in any of these refugees,” she said.

In December 2017, the European Commission took Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the EU Court of Justice over their refusal to participate in a one-off program for relocating across the bloc refugees who had arrived in Greece and Italy.

“Let us also remind them of the leader of one EU country who had repeatedly declared that it will not accept any refugee because “it will diminish and compromise the Christian tradition of its people,” she added.

She suggested that the Philippine government respond to all allegations/accusations of EU lawmakers and invite an independent team to verify the bases of their claims.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government is unfazed by EU lawmakers’ push to revoke the tariff perks for Philippine goods

“Europe, go ahead. At the time of the pandemic, the whole world will pay tribute to you,” he said in a press briefing Friday. “They will be the biggest contributor to the violation of the right to life in the Philippines.” (PNA)