Cayetano backpedals, says PH open to accept grants from EU
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday backpedaled on his earlier statement that the Philippines would no longer accept any grant from the European Union (Union).
Cayetano said the Philippines was open to accept foreign aids, including those from EU.
“I already stated the policy. If there are no conditionalities and it will not affect our sovereignty, then everyone is free to help,” he told reporters in Manila after the turnover ceremony of military equipment from Russia.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said the Philippines would not accept grants from EU, slamming the economic bloc of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
After Duterte’s remarks, Cayetano said the Philippines won’t accept all kinds of grants from EU but later said the government was open to accept aid without conditionalities.
“So the question should now be addressed to EU. Are they willing to give without conditionalities, or if the conditionalities are there, are they willing to do it through international organizations?” Cayetano said.
“If it will (set conditions), then we will not accept it but it will not hurt Marawi or the community because they are free to give it to international organizations or to the community directly,” he added.
The foreign affairs chief said he met with EU officials in Manila on Tuesday.
“We had a very frank and honest discussion with the representatives of EU, led by Ambassador Jessen. We affirmed to him that the ties are there, are strong, the things that bind the Philippines and Europe, those a long way just like the US. Having said that, we take issue with certain statements in the environment that is trying to be put up by some European-led NGOs, parliamentarians,” he said.
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