German Foreign Minister visited Philippines

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock travelled to the Philippines on January 11, 2024, in order to strengthen bilateral diplomatic relations. Baerbock met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo. Among others, she expressed her concern about Chinese activities in South China Sea that seem to jeopardize the sovereignty of the Philippines and affect freedom of navigation. Talks were also held on the relaunched free trade agreement negotiations between the European Union and the Philippines.

Baerbock praised the Philippine government’s decisions to pursue a new approach to dealing with drugs and to place a focus on human rights and freedom of the press. President Marcos Jr. also announced his visit to Germany on March 12, 2024.

Baerbock also held talks in Manila with Maria Ressa, the founder and CEO of Rappler, as well as with former senator Leila de Lima, who was recently released on bail after more than six years in prison. Despite this, there was no critical public stance on the current human rights situation in the Philippines.

On the occasion of the last International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2023, the embassies of France and Germany in Manila had called on the Philippine government to intensify its efforts to ensure accountability for extrajudicial killings in the context of the so-called “war on drugs” and to put an end to the practice of so-called “red-tagging” (i.e., labelling political activists as “terrorists”).


Photo © Raffy Lerma

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