MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the week, Philippine Assistant Interior Secretary Epimaco Densing III said that the European Union threatened to cancel 27 trade agreements with Manila due to Brussels’s concern over President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial anti-drug campaign that have claimed thousands of lives.
"The President has approved the recommendation of the department of finance not to accept grants, this is not necessarily humanitarian aid from the EU, [but grants] that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies of the Philippines," Abella said at the press briefing as quoted by Manila Bulletin newspaper.
The decision does not mean, however, that Manila will no longer accept grants from other foreign entities, the spokesman added.
"The Philippines reserves the right to accept loans and grants that help attain its objectives of promoting economic development inclusiveness and reducing poverty, attaining peace within its borders and with its neighbors, and fostering a law-abiding society," Abella added.
Duterte, a former city mayor of Davao with a crime-fighting reputation, was sworn in as president in June 2016 on promises to crack down on illegal drugs and put an end to drug-related crimes in the country. Shortly after taking office, Duterte launched a large-scale anti-drug campaign, during which police have killed thousands of people during anti-drug operations. The campaign has been widely criticized by international community.