Duterte on non-renewal of US aid: We'll be glad to lose it
SINGAPORE – President Rodrigo Duterte could not care less about the United States aid package that won't be going to the Philippines because of US concerns over human rights issues facing his administration.
"We’ll be glad to lose it. I also suggest they start packing," said Duterte on Friday, December 16, after being asked about the non-renewal of a grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US aid-giving body.
Duterte took a few questions from reporters before flying back to the Philippines after his state visit to Singapore.
The President said he is not bothered even if the aid could amount to $430 million.
"We will not go hungry without the American aid. We are not that desperate. We can always get it from China and Russia," he said.
In recent speeches, Duterte has touted China and Russia as the Philippines' new-found allies as he seeks to pursue a foreign policy independent from the US.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr slammed the US for imposing "conditions" on the Philippines despite the friendship and close ties of the two countries.
Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia also said he "wouldn't lose sleep" over the non-renewed aid. – Rappler.com