Bayan muna bago isipin ang iba! Winnie Castelo backs Duterte’s rejection of EU aid

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Quezon City congressman Winston “Winnie” Castelo has thrown his support behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s rejection of a multimillion-dollar aid from the European Union (EU) out of concerns it will interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

In a statement Friday (May 19), Castelo lauded Duterte for putting the country’s interest first.

“Self-determination and sovereignty do not have a price, which was what the Duterte administration had shown in its decision to stop aid from the European Union that has strings attached that interferes in the internal affairs of the country,” he said.

Malacañang said it has approved the Department of Finance’s recommendation to shun a grant from EU worth $280 million since it will require a review of the country’s adherence to the rule of law.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government reserves the right to decline aid from foreigners in the country’s interest.

However, he clarified that the aids rejected were those with specific requirements that impose conditionalities on how the government does its function and not those with humanitarian purposes. Pending EU grants which are intended mainly for social development and improved governance were estimated at around 250 million euros or P14 billion.

For Castelo, Duterte’s popularity proves he continues to enjoy the people’s support despite criticism from entities in the international community.

“The recent surveys showing 80 percent public support on Mr. Duterte show the majority perception that the President is making the right decisions to benefit Filipinos,” he said.