Lorenzana: ‘We might ask for exemption’ from memo vs backers of UN drug war probe
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana might consider asking for his agency’s exemption from President Rodrigo Duterte’s suspension of loans from countries that supported the United Nations resolution to investigate the administration’s war on drugs.
Under the memo issued last August 27, all departments and government agencies will stop negotiations and agreements on grants and loans from the countries that voted in favor of the UN Human Rights Council resolution last July.
Lorenzana said the President’s memorandum will affect the military’s modernization program.
“Pero sa grant talaga hindi natatanggap; ‘yung sa loans, we might ask for exemption kung kailangan ma-exempt sa directive ni Presidente,” he told reporters Monday.
(We will no longer accept grants, but about the loans, we might ask for an exemption if needed to be spared from the directive of the President.)
For instance, one of the countries that voted in favor of a probe on the Philippines’ human right situation is Australia – one of the Philippines’ most important security partners.
Lorenzana earlier announced the prospect of a soft loan from Australia for the purchase of six offshore patrol vessels for the Philippine Navy.
The Philippines has also either bought or eyeing to procure defense supplies from other countries that supported the resolution like United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and Czech Republic. /kga
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