Church exec hits Duterte’s rejection of EU aid as ‘short-sighted’

Church exec hits Duterte’s rejection of EU aid as ‘short-sighted’

An official of the Catholic Church’s social action arm has criticized President Rodrigo Duterte and said his decision to stop development assistance from the European Union would be short sighted and irresponsible.

Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez urged Duterte to rethink his decision to avoid unintended consequences that are detrimental to the poor and vulnerable groups.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary

“The Duterte admin is just too fanatically engrossed on war on drugs, hating every institution that questions it,” Gariguez said.

“This short sightedness is echoed even in making foreign or economic policy which is extremely detrimental to the welfare and interest of the poor, like this decision not to accept EU aid,” he said.

The EU has repeatedly criticized Duterte’s war on drugs and even called for an international investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings.

EU Ambassador to Manila Franz Jessen earlier said that the trade with Europe may be affected if the Duterte administration would ignore warnings on human rights violations.

In October last year, Duterte dared the EU and United States to withdraw financial aid to the Philippines if they are against his bloody drug war.

A Malacañang official confirmed that the government will no longer receive up to P13.85 billion grants from EU.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the country will reject foreign aid with conditions that may interfere the country’s internal policies.

The Caritas official called on Duterte to think of his fellow Mindanaoans who may be more at risk from his decision.

“What is more at stake is the big billions of aid for the poor, especially in Mindanao,” Gariguez said. CBCPNews