Links of interest: DU30, Akbayan, Hontiveros and EU

What has been described by the BBC as President Duterte’s fiery attack on the EU is intriguing. If you look into it you will a set of links that shows the interplay of politics and media that led to this event. Here are links of interest, annotated or with comments with the purpose of looking into a cycle of news as it happened. The links of interest come from online articles, press statements and posts from the parties concerned. What is interesting is the prominent repeated mentions of Senator Hontiveros and Akbayan. Also note that Akbayan is a member of the Progressive Alliance.


1. In fiery attack, Philippines’ Duterte accuses EU of plottingBBC Date Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: A straightforward article that not only reports on the incident and gives relevant contextualization of the story.

2.PHL might lose favored trading partner status with EU if slays continue, delegation saysPublished October 9, 2017 8:29pm Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: An example of a news item highlighting the statement of a delegation concerning possible loss the country’s partner status with the EU. Note the headline is not specific as to what delegation. This is only specified in the article.

3.Statement of the EU following comments made by President Duterte earlier today:Bruxelles, 12/10/2017 – 16:05 – UNIQUE ID: 171012_4Local StatementsDelegation of the European Union to the PhilippinesDate Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: After the statement of the President the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines released this statement:

The recent visit of the delegation of the “International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance” to the Philippines on 8-9 October was not a “European Union mission”, as falsely reported by some media outlets.

The European Union was not part of the organisation or planning of that visit – neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels. The statements made by the Progressive Alliance during its visit to the Philippines were made solely on behalf of the Progressive Alliance and do not represent the position of the European Union.

The Delegation continues to operate and function normally, and is committed to working constructively and productively with the Philippines for the benefit of the population”.

Comment: What is the Progressive Alliance? Why were they here? Who invited them here?

4. About the Progressive Alliance and their activities in the Philippines: Political Parties and Associated Partners of the Progressive Allianceprogressive-alliance.infoDate Accessed: Ocotber 13,2017

Annotation/Comment: The passage below was taken from website of the Progressive Alliance and explain who and what they are:

We believe that a better future is possible. The social democratic, progressive and socialist parties have already achieved a great deal in their struggle for social progress and social democracy. We want to continue on this road together.

At the same time we are determined to energetically defend this progress against authoritarian and reactionary opponents who aggressively question our common values. Together we shall join our global forces to create a future that is defined by solidarity, justice and freedom.
As a powerful alliance of friends and partners from all corners of the earth, we are committed to achieving this aim. Our idea of a free, open, inclusive and joint society is a powerful idea.

5. Parties and Organizations progressive-alliance.infoDate Accessed: Ocotber 13,2017

Annotation/Comment: Lists the organization and parties that are part of the Progressive Alliance. Note: Only one Philippines- based political party belongs to this alliance.

6. PHILIPPINES: Promoting Democracy and Justice. Progressive Alliance Mission to the Philippines: 8-9 October 2017Progressive Alliance.infoEVENT DATE   8. – 9.10.2017Date Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: Gives information about the planned activities and planned events of the Progressive Alliance last October 8-9, 2017 in the Philippines.

7. PRESS STATEMENT: Stop the killings, stop silencing dissentPUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 9, 2017Progressive-alliance.infoDate Accessed: October 13,2017

Annotation/Comment: Excerpts from the press statement issued by the seven member delegation of the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists.

This is the statement of a seven-member delegation of the
Progressive Alliance (PA) and the Party of European Socialists (PES)
that have visited Manila this week to assess the situation and to
demonstrate solidarity in support for democracy in the Philippines.
The delegation was hosted by Akbayan Party, a member of
Progressive Alliance.

The delegation includes: Konstantin Woinoff (Coordinator,
Progressive Alliance), Giacomo Filibeck (Deputy Secretary General,
Party of European Socialists), Emilia Töyrä (Member of Parliament,
Sweden), Thomas O. Melia (Deputy assistant secretary of state for
democracy and human rights in the Barack Obama administration),
Arne Lietz (Member of European Parliament, S&D Group), Conny
Reuter (Secretary General, SOLIDAR), and Ben Maxfield (Australian
Labour Party). The delegation met with political leaders from several
parties, leaders of civic organizations and visited communities in
Caloocan and Navotas

Annotation/Comment: Statement of the Progressive Alliance regarding DU30 and the EU

The responsibility falls squarely on President Duterte. If Duterte
continues on his bloody campaign against drugs and its aggressive
political persecution, he will be responsible in straining trading
relationships with the international community, especially in light of
the upcoming review of Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), a
special trading instrument that allows around 6,200 Philippine
products to enter the EU duty free. If the human rights standards are
not upheld, then there may be consequences in the Philippines’
inclusion in this special trading instrument of the EU.

8. Progressive Alliance and PES ask to step up international pressure on President Rodrigo Duterte of The Philippines09/10/2017pes.euDate Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: A statement from the Party of European Socialists. The PES and PA were the delegations that visited the Philippines . Take note that in the press statement the EU was also mentioned and as in the other releases Akbayan and Senator Hontiveros were prominently mentioned.

A delegation of the Progressive Alliance (PA) and the Party of European Socialists (PES) visited Manila today to find about the human rights violations going on in The Philippines, in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs. PES Deputy Secretary General, Giacomo Filibeck was a part of the mission.

The delegation denounced the extra judicial killings of thousands of people and regretted that they are directly and publicly being encouraged by the president himself, who already had a record of rampant human rights violations as a mayor of Davao. 

The progressive delegation is equally alarmed at the aggressive efforts being undertaken by the government to silence dissent about these killings: like in the case of Senator Leila De Lima and now Senator Risa Hontiveros. 

If the human rights standards are not upheld, there must be consequences in the Philippines’ inclusion in the special trading instrument of the EU known as GSP+.

The progressive movement is united in supporting our sister party Akbayan in their defence of human rights.
Members of the Mission of the Progressive Alliance:
Emilia Töyrä, Member of Swedish Parliament
Thomas O. Melia, Senior Advisor to IREX (the International Research & Exchange Board)
Arne Lietz , Member of the European Parliament
Benjamin Maxfield works for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General of the PES
Conny Reuter, Secretary General of SOLIDAR
Konstantin Woinoff, Coordinator of the Progressive Alliance

9. Impressions from Manila 8 – 9 October 2017PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 9, 2017Progressive-alliance.infoDate Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: Photos taken by the Progressive Alliance during their trip to the Philippines.

Lastly, The statement from Malacanang regarding this issue.

Statement from Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella

The European Delegation to the Philippines already issued a clarification that it has no involvement in the visit of 7-member delegation of the International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance, which falsely portrayed itself as EU mission.

Any group or person who unduly interferes in our domestic affairs demeans our status as a sovereign nation.  For as long as this condition remains, the President is duty-bound to preserve the integrity of the State

On PRRD’s remarks about the PH membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Watch (HRW), a self-styled HR watchdog, has accused the Philippines of violating its membership obligations and threatens to call for the Philippines to be delisted from the UNHRC. 

The only basis for suspension of privileges of members of the UNHRC is for the concerned member to have committed “gross and systematic violations of human rights” and such a decision is not of the UNHRC but by 2/3 vote of the members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) present and voting.  This is what is said in paragraph 8 of A/Res/251, the UNGA resolution that established the UNHRC.

The fact, however, remains that the UNHRC unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR)  –  a decision undermined by HRW. 

Thus, the noise from HRW amounts to nothing more than unwarranted nuisance.


International delegation did not claim to represent Updated October 13, 2017 – 9:46amDate Accessed: October 13, 2017

Annotation/Comment: An article that gives the explanation of Akbayan, which was stated by Exequiel Salcedo , a legislative staff of Akbayan party. Excerpts from the article:

A tarpaulin behind the delegates during their press conference also clearly identifies them as being with the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists.
The group said on its press statement that they were hosted by Akbayan Party, a member of the Progressive Alliance. Akbayan’s logo also appears on the tarpaulin where the European Union logo is conspicuously absent.
“No such claims were made,” Exequiel Salcedo of the legislative staff of Akbayan party-list told on Friday.
“They came here to the Philippines as a delegation from the Progressive Alliance, and spoke as members of the Progressive Alliance, which is an international network of political parties, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, and individuals dedicated to defend and uphold progressive values such as democracy, social justice, and human rights,” Salcedo, who was at the press conference because Rep. Tom Villarin (Akbayan) was a panelist, said.

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