MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) refuted President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, October 13, and said that there was "no new offer" of money from the United Kingdom as the Philippines' chief diplomat falsely claimed.
"At the moment, there is no new offer of direct monetary assistance to the Philippines," the DFA said in a statement at around 5:40 pm on Friday.
"The Philippine government is committed to continued engagement with the UK in furthering our longstanding and mutually beneficial partnership," the DFA added.
In apparent reference to Finance Secretary Carlos "Sonny" Dominguez III, Duterte said, "The latest word from Sonny, 'yung sa Great Britain, ah, $18 million, 20? Sabi ko kay Sonny, 'wag mong tanggapin (The latest word from Sonny, the one from Great Britain, ah, $18 million, 20? I told Sonny, don't accept it)."
"Mabubuhay rin tayo (We will survive). Anyway, I control the foreign affairs of this government," he added.
Also on Thursday, Duterte threatened to expel European diplomats in the Philippines.
The long-time Davao City mayor based this threat on the wrong information that the European Union wants the Philippines expelled from the United Nations.
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.