Philippines to reject EU aid: Duterte
Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN
The Philippines would no longer accept grants from the European Union (EU) because it allegedly disrespected the country’s sovereignty, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a visit to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Duterte said that he would reject foreign aid with strings attached.
“I’m cursing them [the EU] because they do not know how to respect sovereignty,” he said. “We need aid but if it’s like that, you are taught how to do it … that’s pedantry.”
He said that the United Kingdom was about to give a grant but he turned it down, disputing reports that London made no such offer.
“They are about to make an offer,” Duterte said. “[Finance Secretary Carlos] Dominguez asked. I said, ‘No, I will not accept it.’”
Following a visit last week by a foreign mission, which included several European parliamentarians and party representatives that criticized the President’s bloody war on drugs, Duterte slammed the European Union for meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
In a statement, the European Union disowned the mission, saying it was undertaken by the Progressive Alliance, a global network of social democratic and socialist parties and groups.
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Duterte said that it was “very stupid” for some officials to talk about aid “as if it is a matter of survival of our country.”
“It’s okay if we suffer,” he said. “I said, ‘I’ll tell the people, we should bear it. We’re poor.’”
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that he would clarify from the President whether the country would refuse aid from individual EU members.
“So, it’s a policy for us now not to accept grants from them, but I’m saying our relationship should not be affected. What the President wants is: ‘Do not accept new EU aid,’” he said.
Cayetano said that sometimes nations disagree and later become very close.
This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post
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