The US government has said a major aid package worth over $430 million to the Philippines will not be renewed, due to “significant concerns” about civil liberties infringements in the country and confirmed a board of experts had declined to renew the Millennium Challenge Grant for a further five years.
The grant is open to nations that “demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investments in its people, and economic freedom. It is aimed at reducing poverty in deprived areas. “This decision reflects the board’s significant concerns around rule of law and civil liberties in the Philippines,” the US embassy said in a statement, The Independent reported on Thursday.
Observe 24×7 had reported on Wednesday how the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte boasted of personally killing drug addicts and traffickers when he was the Mayor of the southern city of Davao. https://observe24x7.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/what-happens-when-mayor-of-a-city-murders-people-he-becomes-president-of-the-country-and-declares-he-will-kill-more/
“We will continue to monitor unfolding events in the Philippines and underscore that all country partners are expected to maintain eligibility, which includes not just a passing scorecard but also a demonstrated commitment to the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights,” the embassy statement said.
President Rodrigo Duterte responded by declaring the Philippines was to “separate from the US in a diplomatic sense.”
The Millenium Challenge Corporation meanwhile announced new grants had been given to Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka and Tunisia, with the Philippines still eligible for consideration in the future.