MANILA - The country's top diplomat on Sunday defended a reported Palace order for the halt of negotiations on loans and grants from countries that backed an Iceland-led UN investigation into government's war on drugs.
“That's because we don't want to borrow money from those whose defense of the drug trade and attacks on anti-drug trade campaigns make us mighty suspicious about where the money's coming from," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a tweet.
Locsin added that “experience showed the same countries that voted for the Iceland resolution never gave or lent us anything worthwhile or offered with conditions more onerous than the loans we'd have to pay back.”
“Yes, we pick and choose; to take indiscriminately is actually criminal. For example, we can never take from narco-states like the most notorious one which voted for the Iceland resolution and had the entire Geneva laughing. Really," he said.
Malacañang, however, denied the reported memorandum Friday, saying Duterte has not issued one.
"The President has not issued any memorandum suspending loans and negotiations involving 18 countries that voted in favor of the Iceland resolution," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
With 18 countries in favor, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution last July to compile a sweeping review on Duterte's drug war, which led to the deaths of 6,700 people, in what police say were shootouts with dealers who resisted arrest.
-- Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; Reuters