European Union says Philippines declines new EU grants

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The European Union says the Philippines sent notice it will no longer accept assistance from the 28-nation bloc, putting at stake 250 million euros ($ 278.7 million) in new EU grants.

There was no immediate explanation for Manila's position. But President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier challenged the EU to stop its assistance after the 28-nation bloc had warned that the Philippines risks losing tariff-free exports to Europe because of the thousands killed in the war on drugs launched by Duterte.

The EU delegation in Manila said Thursday that the Philippine government informed it about its decision this week. EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said 250 million euros ($278.7 million) worth of grants was at stake.