Thelma Gecolea of the EU-PH Delegation has confirmed through a statement that the Philippines is turning down some 250 million euros (roughly 13.88 billion pesos) worth of aid and grants, which was supposedly to be allocated for Muslim communities in the country. This has been confirmed by a report of CNN Philippines. This confirmation comes after the Philippines has secured billions of dollars worth in grants and loans from President Duterte’s trip to China during the Belt and Road Summit, May 14, in Beijing.
According to a May 17 interview, newly-appointed Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that President Duterte plans to refuse any aid from any country that would impact the current administration’s campaign against drugs.
“Ang instructions ng presidente, yung gusto tumulong nang kusa, libre sila,” he added. “But yung may strings attached o kaya, ‘Eto yung aid, pero eto gawin niyo,’ lalo na sa pagdating sa campaign against drugs, napapakialaman o pinapatigil, eh wag tanggapin.”
The US and EU have been slammed by the president a couple of times since Duterte’s campaign until his presidency. In October 2016, President Duterte even challenged the US and EU to pull out all assistance to the Philippines following their concerns over alleged “extrajudicial killings” due to drug war. In April 2017, the EU has been slammed for having “no idea” on the current problems of the Philippines especially in the rampant use of prohibited drugs. The EU, through a statement, has rejected the allegations of President Duterte saying that “at no time has the EU Delegation suggested, discussed, proposed or considered the use of any substitution drugs when treating addiction to methamphetamine (shabu), or any other drug addiction in the Philippines.”
President Rodrigo Duterte’s iron-fisted will in deterring use of illegal drugs has been highlighted locally as well. Earlier this week, Gary Alejano, member of the minority block who filed an impeachment complaint against the president, did not hold water as his complaint was junked before the investigating panel due to insufficiency in substance.