President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed that the Philippines does not need the donations offered by the European Union.
When asked if he talked to European Council President Donald Tusk about possible donations from the EU, which he had repeatedly rejected, Duterte said that Filipinos can survive living on rice and dried fish only.
“Forget it. We will survive, even if we have to eat dried fish and rice, we will survive,” Duterte said Tuesday night in a press conference after the country’s hosting of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.
He was asked by Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez III if he is prepared to accept it but insisted that the EU give it to people who think they are telling the truth.
“The EU is offering us, I don’t know what, how much this time. So the secretary of finance asked me if I’m willing to accept them. Give it to the persons you believe who will tell you the truth,” the president said.
The Philippine President made it clear that he does not want any aid with conditions.
“We are not rich, we are poor. But we do not bargain dignity by accepting money (with) conditionalities that are not really acceptable to us,” he added.