Manila welcomes EU grants but not the strings
MANILA: The Philippines hopes the European Union revives an offer to provide development grants, but this time without conditions linked to the country’s human rights record, says Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“We believe that to help a friend and provide aid, it must be without conditions,” said Lopez in an interview on Saturday at a meeting of Asia-Pacific trade ministers in Hanoi, Vietnam.
“We would appreciate all aid, but we request that there be no conditions,” he said.
“We would simply not want to be questioned and we follow the principle of non-interference and independence in foreign policy.”
The Philippines has told the EU it would no longer accept new development grants, which could mean foregoing around €250 million (RM1.08 billion) in assistance, unless they come with no strings attached.
The EU has criticised President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which has led to the deaths of thousands, and his planned reintroduction of capital punishment. Bloomberg