Duterte insists on UK aid offer after DFA clarification

MANILA, Philippines – After a clarification made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that there is no new offer of monetary assistance from the United Kingdom, President Rodrigo Duterte insisted there is such an offer.

"That's the reason why it's not true what the British said that there is no offer. They are about to make an offer. [Finance] Secretary [Carlos] Dominguez [III] asked me, I said, 'No, I will not accept it,'" said Duterte on Wednesday, October 18, at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

After he first made the claim on October 12, the DFA issued a statement saying, "At the moment, there is no new offer of direct monetary assistance to the Philippines."

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano defended Duterte, saying his own department's statement does not mean the President is wrong.

In an interview with reporters after Duterte's speech, Cayetano said it's possible that the $18-20 million aid offer was made to other departments or agencies without the knowledge of the DFA.

"I cannot predict what's on the President's mind. When they clarified with UK, we are saying there are no new grants… Different countries deal with the different departments so we do not know in the DFA if they (UK) or any other country are speaking with the PNP (Philippine National Police), DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), or the Department of Finance," said Cayetano.

When asked which department the aid was offered to, Cayetano said: "I don't know but that's my point. If you're going to always look at the details, he said a hundred things, you're going to look at the details of one thing, you won't understand each other." – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.