Duterte to EU: There is such thing as dignity of race
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he rejected the $200-million worth of assistance from the European Union because of the conditions it set for the Philippines.
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte said the amount was in the form of grant.
"It's supposed to be consensual. It was sent to us, it stated there, 'I'm giving you to promote human rights, law and order'," he said.
Duterte said it was Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III who told him not to accept the aid.
Quoting Dominguez, he said, “Look, President, if you receive the, accept the money, they will have the right to question where the money and interfere in our…”
"You know, there is such thing as a dignity of a race," he added as he branded EU as "fool."
"Don't belittle us. Take your money. We will survive," Duterte said.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the decision to end EU development assistance for 2017 shows the Philippines is “an independent nation with an independent foreign policy.”
“We have good relations with the EU but it’s going through a rocky period or a roller-coaster ride. We are all in this ride together,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said he is scheduled to meet with the EU’s envoy to Manila to discuss the issue and iron out some “miscommunication” upon his return from Russia, where he will be with Duterte.
The EU, along with the United Nations, has expressed concern on the wave of killings of drug suspects since Duterte became president on June 30 2016. Celerina Monte/DMS