• The US government may divert some $6.7-M aid intended for the Philippines’ law enforcement agencies to other countries
  • A US embassy official said this could happen if both government failed to agree on how the funds should be spent
  • The funding for said aid was approved during the Aquino administration

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines may lose some $6.7-M (P323-M) aid coming from the United States supposedly allotted for the training and services of the country’s law enforcement agencies.

A US Embassy official told CNN Philippines the US may end up diverting the funds to other countries if both governments failed to agree on how the amount will be used.

“The $6.7 million in funds can be used only after agreement between the United States and the Philippines on their specific use. If no agreement is reached, the funds may be used in a country other than the Philippines,” U.S. Embassy Press Attache and First Secretary Molly Koscina said.

The US government did not hide its concern over the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country following President Rodrigo Duterte’s assumption of office in June.

Of late, Duterte has poured considerable resources to step up the government’s massive campaign against illegal drugs with the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa at the forefront of the bloody war.

But Koscina said the amount is intended only for programs that supports rule of law, due process, and maritime security and not for law enforcement operations aimed at hunting down criminals.

Moreover, the funds has to “strictly comply” with the U.S. legal obligations and international law enforcement and policing standards, the US official explained.

The aid is part of the $32-M (P1.5-B) the US has pledged for the country’s law enforcement agencies announced by Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to Manila in July.

The funding was approved during former President Benigno Aquino III’s term and appropriated by the US for the fiscal year 2011 to 2016.