EU, Spain laud PHL orderly elections; to work with Duterte administration

By , on May 12, 2016

European Union (ShutterStock)
European Union (ShutterStock)

MANILA—The 28-member European Union (EU) and Spain on Thursday lauded the orderly conduct of Philippine presidential elections as it vowed to work closely with the incoming government of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, EU Ambassador to Manila Franz Jessen said he finds encouraging the high voter turnout during the polls held on May 9.

“The EU Delegation and a number of our member states in Manila observed the elections, which took place in an orderly manner. I was encouraged by the high number of people who chose to exercise their democratic rights,” Jessen said.

In a separate statement, Spain, a member of the EU, also praised Filipinos and Philippine authorities on the orderly manner of the elections, which recorded an 81 percent turnout.

Both the EU and Spain said they look forward to working closely with Duterte’s administration. President-elect Duterte takes over the reins of government as Chief Executive from his predecessor, Benigno S. Aquino III, on June 30.

“The government offers its support to the next President in this new phase that will commence in the country, as well as its commitment to continue in extending the historic ties of friendship and cooperation between our two countries,” said Spain’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Jessen said he hopes that the “dynamic” relations between the Philippines and the EU would continue.

“We are now awaiting the official announcement, Rodrigo Duterte is the presumptive 16th President-elect, and I am looking forward to taking the EU-Philippines agenda forward with him and his administration,” Jessen said.

“The EU has been encouraged by the dynamic development of our relations with the Philippines over the recent years in all aspects, from political to economic, grade and development cooperation,” he added.

Europe’s top envoy to Manila said he expects the new government under Duterte to “continue on this path” under the Partnership Cooperation Agreement that was signed in 2012 between the Philippines and the EU.

The Partnership Cooperation Agreement or PCA provides the legal basis for the two parties to cooperate on human rights, anti-corruption, human trafficking, organized crime, the Mindanao peace process, and trade and investment, among others.