Anti-drug campaigns in the Philippines (Photo: Bussiness Insider)

Hanoi (VNA) – The United States has withheld a major aid package to the Philippines because of significant concerns about the rule of law under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, said Molly Koscina, spokeswoman of the US Embassy in the Philippines on December 15.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US agency which was set up to promote economic growth and reduce poverty around the world, will continue monitoring upholding events in the Southeast Asian country, she added.

She also underscored that all country partners are expected to maintain eligibility, which includes not just a passing scorecard but also a demonstrated commitment to the rule of law, due process and respect to human rights.

The last MCC five – year aid package to the Philippines worth 433.9 million USD expired in May. 

Recently, the US has strongly criticised the Philippines’ anti-drug campaigns that were reported to kill more than 3,300 people since President Duterte took office on June 30. 

The US – Philippines relations has become more complicated recently after President Duterte provoked his anger at Washington’s criticism on the drug wars in the Philippines.-VNA