PH reiterates commitment to rule of law as US agency defers aid

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2016 09:07 AM

MANILA - Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Friday reiterated the government's commitment to the rule of law despite news reports on alleged extrajudicial killings connected to the government's war on drugs.

This, after U.S. aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation said Thursday that it has “deferred a vote on the re-selection of the Philippines for compact development, subject to a further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.”

"This decision reflects the Board's significant concerns around rule of law and civil liberties in the Philippines," embassy spokeswoman Molly Koscina said in a statement.

In a statement, Dominguez thanked the MCC for the grant of $434 million in the first round of funding - from May 2011 to May 2016.

“We have received the news about the MCC’s decision. We thank them for the grant that the Philippines received under the first compact as we reassure them and the rest of our development partners that the government continues to vigorously implement initiatives that reinforce the Duterte presidency’s commitment to good governance, peace and order and the rule of law,” he said.

The finance chief said the Philippines had passed 13 out of the 20 country indicators in the latest MCC scorecard report.

The report, which was published in November, included indicators such as control of corruption, rule of law and civil liberties.

The recent report was a slight improvement of last year’s performance report, where the Philippines passed 12 out of the 20.

The first round of funding by the MCC, worth $434 million, came into force in May 2011 and ended May 2016.

The second funding grant would have run for five years and be implemented throughout the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.