EU threatens to review Philippine access to GSP

A senior official of the European Union warned on Friday that the 28-nation block could review trade agreements with the Philippines if the death penalty bill becomes law and if summary killings continue unabated, The Manila Times Online reported on Saturday.

“We are concerned with some of the issues here in the Philippines: the reinstatement of death penalty, also the extrajudicial killings and the proposal to lower the judicial responsibility age to nine years – and there arealso some of the concerns that we have conveyed to our partners here in the Philippines,” said European Trader Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told the media at the sideline of a business forum of Asean and EU in Pasy City.

Particularly at stake is the duty free access of Philippine products to the EU through the Generalized System of Preferences Plus or GSP+ programme.

The GSP+agreement grants the Philippines zero duties on 6,274 locally-made products.

The EU parliament last year warned President Rodrigo Duterte to stop killings connected to his war on drugs. Duterte responded by cursing the EU and saying Philippines could do without ER investments.

On Thursday, Duterte said he wanted rape with homicide included among the heinous crimes punishable by death penalty.