MANILA — The Philippines will no longer accept grants from the European Union, the EU delegation to Manila said today, following repeated tirades from President Rodrigo Duterte over its criticism of his deadly drug war.
"The Philippine government has informed us that they (will) no longer accept new EU grants," the delegation said in a brief statement.
The decision will affect grants worth 250 million euros (US$278 million), according to Franz Jessen, the EU’s ambassador to Manila.
Philippine government officials did not immediately comment, with the finance department saying a statement would be issued later today.
Duterte, 72, has repeatedly criticised European lawmakers and the EU for condemning his drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives and led to warnings from critics of a crime against humanity.
The German government also expressed concern after Duterte last year drew parallels between his drug war and Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust.
"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said, underestimating the number of people killed in the Holocaust.
Duterte later apologised for the Hitler reference but said he was "emphatic" about wanting to kill addicts.
Duterte easily won presidential elections last year after promising to end crime by killing tens of thousands of drug traffickers and addicts.
Police have reported killing about 2,700 people since Duterte took office at the end of June and immediately launched his war on drugs. — AFP