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Sotto hits EU meddling in war vs drugs

Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto III said yesterday that the European Union has no moral right meddling with the Philippines’ war on drugs as he defended President Duterte’s approach in dealing with the illicit drug trade.

According to Sotto, the European parliamentarians should mind their own business.

“The EU has no moral right to interfere on how we handle our illegal drugs problems considering the fact that many of their member countries allow the use of dangerous drugs. Ano gusto nila mapares tayo sa kanila?” he said. “I can’t help but suspect that some of their people benefit from illegal drugs,” the senator added.

Sotto said that the EU only sees one side of the drug war, which is that of the slain drug suspects, and not the side of more than 77,000 individuals affected by illegal narcotics.

He also defended the President’s approach in dealing with problem, saying that the Chief Executive is “practically breaking the backbone of illegal drugs in the country.”

“Sino ba backbone ng illegal drugs? Yun street pusher. Kung walang street pusher, walang magdi-distribute ng droga. Yun ang backbone,” he said.

The senator also justified the number of slain drug suspects during police anti-illegal drug operations. And while he admits that many had been killed, the number, Sotto said, is still small compared to the 55,000 individuals who had been arrested by the authorities.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has called on the European Parliament to engage the country as “partners in nation-building” instead of warning the drug crackdown might jeopardize trade relations.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella maintained the government does not tolerate extrajudicial killings and will continue to abide by international commitments to human rights. (Hannah L. Torregoza and Genalyn D. Kabiling)