Duterte dares US, EU: Pull out aid to Philippines
(Philstar.com) - October 6, 2016 - 7:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Go ahead, pull out your aid.

Saying that Filipinos are not beggars, President Rodrigo Duterte dared on Thursday the United States, the European Union and human right advocates to pull out their assistance to the Philippines, saying the country can survive without their help.

Duterte said the Philippines would not sacrifice dignity as a nation for aid from other countries who do not understand the seriousness of the drug problem.

"I do not expect the human rights (advocates), I do not expect (US President Barack) Obama. I do not expect the EU to understand me. Do not understand me and if you think it's high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it," the president said in a speech delivered at Camp Rafael Rodriguez in Butuan City.

"We have a problem here trying to preserve our society and you mess up by (raising) human rights (issues). You threaten us using your assistance. How do you look at us? Mendicants?" he added.

Duterte said he is ready to uphold the integrity of the Philippines even if he dies of hunger.

"We will survive. Even if it's difficult, we will survive," the tough talking president said.

"I'll be the first one to go hungry. I'll be the first one to die of hunger. DO not worry. But we will never never compromise our dignity as Filipino," he added.  

The US, EU, United Nations, and human rights groups have criticized Duterte for the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and have asked the president to uphold the rule of law at all times.

Duterte, however, viewed their statements as interference with the Philippines' affairs and assailed them for their supposed hypocrisy and failure to end atrocities in other parts of the world.

On Wednesday, Vice President Leni Robredo reminded Duterte not to hurl expletives at foreign leaders as it could affect diplomatic ties and cut the flow of assistance.

"I wish that he (Duterte) does not speak that way. It is a reminder not only to him but also to all public officials," Robredo said at a press conference.

Snapshot of the United States' assistance to the Philippines from 2008 to 2015, taken from the Congressional Research Service archived at the US Library of Congress. Philstar.com

"Foreign aid is a big help for us, and those are given to us because of the level of their (donors) trust and confidence in us. It is not something that we can do away with just like that because we worked hard to reach that certain level of comfort and trust," the vice president added.

Duterte, however, believes that the Philippines' survival is more important than "crumbs" from other countries.

"You choose: The crumbs of favor from other nations? Will we just rely on their assistance or we make a stand that this country has to survive, that this country must see to it that the next generation is protected?" the president said.

"Because if we don't interdict this evil of drugs, our children and our grandchildren… will be unfortunate," he added.

At the same event, Duterte assured policemen that they would not be jailed for doing their duty in his campaign against drugs.

"We have a problem and we want to end it during my time because somebody is here to protect you," he said.

"Just do your job. Don't be afraid. Now is the time to kill a criminal correctly."

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