Manila wel­comes EU grants but not the strings

New Straits Times - - Business -

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

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