Philip­pines’ Duterte dares US, EU to with­draw aid

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Gender/worldwide -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has told the United States and the Euro­pean Union to “go ahead” and with­draw fi­nan­cial aid to the Philip­pines if they’re un­happy with his bloody anti-drug war.

“Go away, bring your money to some­where else. We will sur­vive as a na­tion,” Duterte said in a speech to po­lice of­fi­cers on Thurs­day in the south­ern city of Bu­tuan.

“How do you look at us, men­di­cants? We will sur­vive. Even if we’ll go through hard­ships, we will sur­vive. But we will never, never com­pro­mise our dig­nity.

“If you think it is high time for you guys to with­draw your as­sis­tance, go ahead, we will not beg for it,” Duterte said, adding he doesn’t ex­pect the US, EU, and hu­man rights group to un­der­stand his pol­icy.

More than 3 680 peo­ple have been killed by po­lice and uniden­ti­fied at­tack­ers in the Philip­pines since June 30, when Duterte took of­fice.

Last week, two US sen­a­tors raised alarms about the mount­ing death toll linked to the anti-drug war, and called for a re­view of Amer­i­can for­eign aid to the Philip­pines.

Sen­a­tor Ben Cardin said what Duterte is ad­vo­cat­ing and en­dors­ing “amounts to mass mur­der”.

Sen­a­tor Pa­trick Leahy said: “No amount of killing will re­sult in re­forms that im­prove the ju­di­ciary, end cor­rup­tion and im­punity in law en­force­ment, or re­ha­bil­i­tate those caught in the vicious cy­cle of ad­dic­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to US data, the Philip­pines is ex­pected to re­ceive a to­tal of $188m in 2017. In 2015, the coun­try re­ceived $236m in US aid.

Mean­while, the an­nual EU as­sis­tance to the Philip­pines is es­ti­mated at $65m.

In an in­ter­view with Al Jazeera, Phe­lim Kine of Hu­man Rights Watch warned that for­eign aid to the Philip­pines could go into fund­ing “mass un­law­ful vi­o­lence” by au­thor­i­ties.

But in de­fend­ing his po­lice on Thurs­day, Duterte said for­eign gov­ern­ments “will never un­der­stand the pain that we are suf­fer­ing.

“We have a prob­lem here try­ing to pre­serve our so­ci­ety,” the pres­i­dent, nick­named “The Pun­isher”, said.

Duterte’s state­ments fol­low a Face­book post by his for­eign min­is­ter, Per­fecto Yasay, who wrote that the pres­i­dent wants to lib­er­ate the Philip­pines from a “shack­ling de­pen­dency” on the US.

In the post ti­tled AMER­ICA HAS FAILED US, Yasay said Duterte was “com­pelled to re­align” Philip­pine for­eign pol­icy and not sub­mit to US de­mands and in­ter­ests.

“Break­ing away from the shack­ling de­pen­dency of the Philip­pines to ef­fec­tively ad­dress both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity threats has be­come im­per­a­tive in putting an end to our na­tion’s sub­servience to United States in­ter­ests,” Yasay wrote.

He said in the South China Sea, the US could not guar­an­tee it would help the Philip­pines to pro­tect its sovereignty, as it is bound to by a 1951 bi­lat­eral treaty.

“Worse is that our only ally could not give us the as­sur­ance that in tak­ing a hard line to­wards the en­force­ment of our sovereignty rights un­der in­ter­na­tional law, it will promptly come to our de­fence un­der our ex­ist­ing mil­i­tary treaty and agree­ments.” — Al Jazeera

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.