European Union says Philippines declines new EU grants

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Phnom Penh

"Fine. I'll pay the price". "I went everywhere because we are really poor and we have to improve the economy", recapitulated during the during the 31st Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry last March.

"I strongly suggest that the government think this over carefully", she said. I do not mind.

According to Abella, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Department of Finance (DOF) not to accept grants from the European Union "that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies" of the country.

The European Union has been one of the most vocal worldwide critics of the drug war.

"These grants pertain to particular projects or programs that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country", he added.

Malacanang on Thursday said the Philippines has made a decision to reject aid coming from the European Union so it would not "interfere" in the country's affairs.

Most of that aid had been earmarked for projects meant to bolster talks to end almost 50 years of Muslim rebellion in the war-torn southern island of Mindanao.

It was not clear how much money was in jeopardy.

The Philippines' decision to stop development assistance from the European Union was a display of the country's independent foreign policy, a top aide of President Rodrigo Duterte said today (18 May).

Economic secretary Ernesto Pernia added to the confusion by saying Mr Duterte may retract it.

- Angry responses - =================== Duterte, 72, has repeatedly criticised European lawmakers and the EU for condemning his drug war.

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Manila's Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Thursday he was not consulted on Duterte's decision to turn down European aid, according to GMA News.

In October a year ago, the firebrand leader dared Europe and United States to withdraw development assistance if they do not agree with his drug war policy.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews".

It granted the Philippines 130 million euros in development assistance between 2007-2013.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte became president last June, with police claiming 30 percent of killings happened in self-defence during legitimate operations.

Duterte later apologised for the Hitler reference but said he was "emphatic" about wanting to kill addicts.

Analysts said the result showed Duterte was succeeding in decoupling his controversial drugs crackdown, which has left thousands dead since he came to office in the middle of previous year, from economic affairs.

The 50-year conflict killed more than 120,000 people and displaced 1 million others.

"Japan should help provide voluntary and community-based effective drug treatment in the Philippines, not help provide cover for Duterte's murderous war on drugs", Doi said.

That decision by the Philippine government came on the heels of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's arrival from his second visit in China, bringing home with him billions of dollars in pledges.

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