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No to foreign aid with strings attached

  • Written by Cristina Lee-Pisco
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 153

THE Philippines will reject any aid, assistance or opportunities for joint cooperation from anyone under onerous conditions or offered under a “carrot and stick” policy, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Saturday said adding the government is ready to terminate its international agreements that no longer serve the national interest.

Yasay’s statement came a few days after President Rodrigo Duterte dared the United States, European Union and United Nations to withdraw their aid to the Philippines as he lashed out at international bodies amid criticism of the human rights violations committed in the administration’s war on drugs.

The President said the international community would never understand the depth of the country’s drug problem which allegedly involves high ranking officials.

In a statement Yasay said “we will never allow any bullying to make us submit to the interest of any other nation. Henceforth, we will reject any aid, assistance or opportunities for joint cooperation from anyone under onerous conditions or offered pursuant to a ‘carrot and stick’ policy.”

The secretary explained “in building on the economic pillar of our foreign relations, we must recognize that all nations -- whether weak or strong, small or big — will be interdependent of each other. The distribution of capital and resources, products and markets around the globe will always have a compelling effect upon such interdependence.”

This makes a country’s economy dynamic, robust and sustainable for the welfare of its people.
“Our relationships toward this convergence of interests must be balanced and fair to be mutually beneficial to all concerned,” he said.
The overriding consideration for making change a reality under the Duterte Administration is to protect and promote the national interests in promoting friendship with all nations.
Yasay also said while the Philippines respects and keeps its mutual defense treaty with the US, this should not cause the country to be dependent on Washington
“Even as we will respect and keep our mutual defense treaty with the U.S. as our safeguard against any risk or menace from external aggression that undermines our territorial integrity, sovereignty rights and maritime entitlements under international law, this important alliance cannot be carried out to perpetuate our dependency thereby making us vulnerable to subservience,” he said.
The secretary stressed “we will also not hesitate to terminate our international agreements, when the national interest will no longer be served.”
Yasay added the Philippines’ military alliance with other countries must enable the government to be self-reliant in adequately dealing with the internal and external threats to its security.