US says aid package to Philippines withheld over rights concerns

US embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/

The United States has not renewed a major aid package to the Philippines because of “significant concerns” about the rule of law under President Rodrigo Duterte, the US embassy said on Thursday.

“This decision reflects the Board’s significant concerns around rule of law and civil liberties in the Philippines,” embassy spokeswoman Molly Koscina said in a statement emailed to AFP after the country was not selected for a new Millennium Challenge Corporation grant.