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Palace: PH only turning down EU aid with strings attached

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The Philippines will not only be rejecting all forms of aid that comes from the European Union (EU), Malacañang said Thursday (May 18).

In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Philippines only reserves the right to turn down grants from EU “that may allow it to interfere with the internal policies of the Philippines.”

“These grants pertain to particular projects or programs that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country,” he explained.

While Abella acknowledged that most, if not all, grants come with conditions, he said that there are those that “we cannot totally accept.”

When pressed for details, however, Abella said the government does not want aid that will allow foreigners to interfere with the country’s internal affairs.

Asked further on whether human rights was among the conditions the government feels strongly about, Abella refused to comment.

EU’s aid to the Philippines, bulk of which goes to Muslim communities, is estimated to be worth about $278 million or 50 million Euros.