Manila, May 18 (IANS) The Philippines on Thursday said it has stopped accepting development aid from the European Union (EU) owing to the latter's interference in the country's internal affairs.
Presidential Office spokesperson Ernesto Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the finance department's recommendation of not accepting further donations from the EU, Efe news reported.
"These grants pertain to projects that have the potential of affecting the autonomy of the country," said Abella, accusing the EU of trying to meddle in the country's internal affairs.
This would set back the Philippines by around 250 million euros ($278 million) in upcoming development aid projects, mainly directed at improving the living conditions for people in the poor regions in the country's south.
In March, the European Parliament had approved a resolution condemning Duterte's anti-drug war and demanded an end to the controversial campaign that has reportedly claimed over 7,000 lives since he took office in June 2016.
The Filipino leader has since then threatened to reject EU grants on several occasion, arguing the bloc is using them to try and influence the country's internal policies.