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De Lima hits ‘heartless’ Duterte for refusing foreign aid

/ 07:04 PM September 21, 2019
Leila de Lima and Rodrigo Duterte

Sen. Leila de Lima (left) and President Rodrigo Duterte (File photos by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Saturday called President Rodrigo Duterte “heartless” as she condemned the alleged order to refuse grants and aid from other countries that voted to approve a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution calling for an investigation into the Philippines’ drug war killings.

De Lima said the President would rather lose aid from countries that wish to help the Philippines rather than stop the alleged extrajudicial killings linked t0 his administration’s controversial war against drugs.

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“Pinapatay na nga ang mga mahihirap sa araw-araw na tokhang, ipinagkakait pa sa kanila ang ayudang galing sa ibang bansa na matagal nang pinakikinabangan ng ating mga mahihirap na kababayan,” De Lima said in a statement.

[The poor are being killed in the daily tokhang operations. And now they are being denied aid that has long been benefiting our poor countrymen.]

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The Inquirer earlier reported that a confidential memorandum dated August 27 from the Office of the President ordered a suspension of all negotiations or signing of all loan and grant agreements with the countries that voted in favor of the UNHRC resolution last July 11.

READ: Duterte order shuns all loans, grants, aid from 18 countries backing probe of PH killings

A total of 18 countries voted in favor of the resolution — namely, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.

China voted against the resolution.

READ: Greater scrutiny on PH killings gets UN rights council’s nod

“This heartless President rather prefers onerous loans from China, simply because China supports his murderous policies at the UNHRC and in the international arena, without questions asked,” De Lima said.

“For Duterte, it is better to bury the country in debt with billions in Chinese loans, rather than benefit from free aid and grants from countries, who just happen to also ask for a stop to his murderous drug war,” she added.

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De Lima called China’s loans as “blood money.”

“Umuutang tayo sa China para maipagpatuloy ni Duterte ang pagpatay sa mga mahihirap, para walang tigil na mayurakan ang ating mga karapatan at kapakanan,” De Lima said.

[We are borrowing from China so that Duterte can continue killing the poor, so that our rights and welfare will be trampled on without continuously.]

“Ginigisa ang mahihirap nating kababayan sa sariling mantika. Walang ibang magbabayad sa utang sa China kung hindi ang mismong mahihirap ding pinapapatay ni Duterte,” the senator added.

[The poor are being fried in their own grease. Nobody else will pay for our debt to China except the poor people that Duterte is killing.]

Further, De Lima said: “Clearly, this new policy is another irrational move by a heartless and megalomaniac leader. Kawawa na naman ang bayan ko.”

But the Palace has denied the said order.

“The President has not issued any memorandum suspending loans and negotiations involving 18 countries that voted in favor of the Iceland resolution,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

READ: Palace: No Duterte order suspending loans, grants from 18 countries backing PH killings probe

/atm

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TAGS: drug killings, foreign aid for drug war victims, Leila de Lima, Rodrigo Duterte, UNHRC, war on drugs
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