Philippines declines aid from Europe to assert independence

The EU has been providing support to Manila's efforts to end almost 50 years of Muslim rebellion in a conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people, displaced 1 million and stunted growth in one of the country's resource-rich regions.It granted the Philippines 130 million euros in development assistance between 2007-2013.

"There has been no let up in Duterte's controversial war on drugs, but he is sticking to his pledge to leave economic policy in the hands of his well-respected finance secretary", said Gareth Leather of London-based consultancy Capital Economics.

The European Union on Wednesday evening, May 17, confirmed that the Philippines has made a decision to no longer accept new EU grants, pegged at around 250 million euros or P13.85 billion.

Mr Abella said one grant had already been declined for having "objectionable" conditions attached to it, although he refused to elaborate.

"The Philippine government has informed us that they no longer accept new European Union grants", the European Union delegation to the Philippines said when sought by Rappler for confirmation Wednesday. "I'd be happy to slaughter them", Mr Duterte said, underestimating the number of people killed in the Holocaust. In March this year, the European Union became the largest destination of exports from the Philippines with $901 million. "I don't think it's going to remain as such".

While acknowledging that "the Philippines desperately needs voluntary, community-based drug dependence treatment services that comport with worldwide standards and human rights principles", HRW pointed out that "neither JICA nor the Health department have provided any details about how the Philippine government will spend those funds".

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has called European lawmakers "crazy people" after MEPs criticised his brutal war on drugs.

But the country's Economic Planning Minister Ernesto Pernia said the decision could still change.

In total, the European Union has contributed more than $1 billion over the last four decades to reduce poverty in the country and is one of the primary aid donors for the Philippines, the delegation said.

In October past year, the firebrand leader dared Europe and United States to withdraw development assistance if they do not agree with his drug war policy.

Analysts said the result showed Duterte was succeeding in decoupling his controversial drugs crackdown, which has left thousands dead since he came to office in the middle of a year ago, from economic affairs.

Police have reported killing about 2,700 people since Duterte took office at the end of June and immediately launched his war on drugs.

During a trip to Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum, Duterte's much-softened approach to Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea earned billions of dollars of investment for the country.

Mr Duterte has also loosened the Philippines' ties with traditional ally the United States.

  • Zachary Reyes