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September 23, 2017

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If your aid comes with a condition, the Philippines doesn't want it

MANILA — The Philippines' top diplomat says the government's new policy of rejecting aid with conditions applies to all donor countries, not just the European Union.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano made the statement Friday, a day after officials confirmed that Manila had declined about 250 million euros (nearly $280 million) in EU grants because the aid "would involve review of our adherence to the rule of law."

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier challenged the EU to stop its assistance after the bloc warned that the Philippines risked losing tariff-free exports to Europe because of the thousands of people killed in Duterte's war on illegal drugs, and government moves to revive the death penalty.

Asked by journalists what other donors are covered by the aid boycott, Cayetano replied, "All countries."

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