Clean your own backyard first, netizens tell EU

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

September 23, 2020, 10:26 am

MANILA – Several netizens have reacted negatively to the European Parliament’s interference in Philippine affairs after it issued a resolution threatening to revoke the country’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status if the government would not enforce international conventions on human rights.

Several netizens echoed the sentiments of political analyst University of the Philippines political science professor, Clarita Carlos, who told the European Parliament that "before they start throwing stones in our direction, (they) better check first the glasshouses they also live in."

Carlos' thoughts were published on the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website on September 18 in an article titled "EU should check own glasshouses before throwing stones at PH".

The post received 1.4K reactions and 102 comments on PNA's Facebook page as of writing time, while the same story that was published in the Manila Bulletin garnered 908 reactions and 522 comments.

Netizens argued that Europe has problems in its backyard, which it has to clean before dabbling on other countries' issues.

"As the saying goes, clean your own backyard first before you clean the backyards of other people," wrote one netizen on the comment section of the post.

Another said that instead of meddling in the Philippines' domestic affairs, the parliament should focus on the issues faced by its member-states.

"Agree EU must stop meddling (in) Phil govt affairs, (they) should mind their own issues instead," the netizen posted.

Another netizen raised the issue of sovereignty, saying the foreign legislative body is "guilty of infringement of our sovereignty."

"They must have been fed with wrong info by destabilizers or traitors of our country," he added.

A netizen commented that the country has its own laws to implement and uphold, saying "there is no basis" for the European Parliament to sanction the Philippine government.

One commenter called the European Parliament "toothless", noting that the European Commission is the only authorized entity to decide on the tariff issues.

"The EU Parliament is toothless and the EU commission is likely to ignore the 'noise' from a member of the Green Party that sent the ball rolling. Just ignore it. Nothing will happen," the commenter said.

In a resolution, the European Parliament recommended the revocation of the Philippines’ GSP+ status over the alleged "seriousness of the human rights violations" in the country.

The GSP+ is an EU program that allows countries to export eligible products to EU states duty-free.

In a virtual Palace briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte agrees with his remark asking the European Parliament to “go ahead” and withdraw the country's tariff perks.

“My statements on the EU were completely ratified by the President yesterday. He completely agrees with my statements,” Roque said.

He said the President devoted a “substantial period of time” to express his views on the European Parliament’s threat during his meeting with select Cabinet members on Monday night.

“Ang sabi niya mali nga na nanghihimasok itong European Union sa mga bagay na sakop ng soberenya ng bansa (He said it’s wrong for the European Union to interfere with issues involving the sovereignty of our country),” he said. (PNA)