Sonny’s bad advice: Duterte rejects EU grant but accepts China aid even if it means giving up PH territory – Lagman
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman thinks President Rodrigo Duterte has adopted a “skewed double standard” in choosing from which country to get foreign aid or assistance.
“While he rejects assistance from the European Union (EU) because of alleged conditions related to his bloody campaign against drugs, he accepts Chinese pledges of aid and investments despite the overriding condition that the Philippines must not enforce against China the UN-supported arbitral decision of the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal adjudicating that the resource-rich and vast areas in the West Philippine Sea are part of Philippine territory and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), including Benham Rise, Spratlys and Panatag Shoal, among others,” said Lagman in a statement.
Compared to China’s promise of aid which was “contingent” or subject to chance, Lagman said the EU has a track record of being a consistent source of aid in strife-torn Mindanao.
“The worldwide concern on the unabated extrajudicial killings of drug suspects is merely being echoed by the European Union in the same manner that 45 out of the 47 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council have called for the end of the extra-judicial killings (EKJs) and endorsed the investigation of human rights violations,” said Lagman.
Lagman said the President was clearly misled in rejecting the EU aid advised by Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez “with a collective consultation with his economic team.”
He said EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen previously clarified that EU’s serious concern on the on-going EJKs was not a conditionality of the grant which EU had committed to release just the same amounting to 250 million euros (P13.89 billion) up to 2020.
Lagman also rejected Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella’s claim that accepting EU’s grants was a form of mendicancy. “The grants are being offered without the Philippines begging for them,” said Lagman.