Palace: Refusing EU aid makes PH 'independent'


Palace: Refusing EU aid makes PH 'independent'

‘We’re supposed to be an independent nation,’ says Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in explaining the Duterte administration’s decision

Pia Ranada

Published 10:35 AM, May 18, 2017

Updated 1:15 PM, May 18, 2017

TOP CABINET OFFICIAL. President Rodrigo Duterte speaks with his top Cabinet official, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, at a Palace event on March 30, 2017. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Thursday, May 18, that the Philippine government has stopped accepting aid from the European Union (EU) to assert its independence.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, in a message to reporters, said this new policy of the government is “to enable them (EU) not to interfere with our internal affairs.”

“We’re supposed to be an independent nation,” Medialdea added.

Franz Jessen, EU Ambassador to the Philippines, had earlier confirmed the Philippine government’s communication to the EU that it would no longer accept any aid.

Jessen said the new policy means the Philippines will no longer receive P13.85 billion worth of new grants.

It is a formalization of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration in October 2016 that the EU can “go ahead” and withdraw its aid.

He was reacting to supposed threats from the EU to stop providing assistance to the Philippines out of concern for the high death toll of his administration’s drug war and his bid to revive the death penalty.

The EU is also reviewing whether or not to strip the Philippines of trade incentives that had been granted in 2014 on the condition that the country abide by international laws, including those on human rights. –