BACOLOD

Aquino to meet US envoy over grants

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III will meet United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas this week following the alleged withdrawal of some US grants in the country.

The supposed pullout came after the non-attendance of the Philippines in the gala of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway last Friday.

“I was given a message from one of our government official who said that there might be a possibility (of pullout),” he told reporters.

Aquino earlier admitted that his decision to boycott the rites was to save the lives of five Filipinos on death row in China.

But he refused to speculate that the withdrawal of grants was connected to the absence of Philippines in the Nobel rites.

He also noted of the continuing efforts of the Philippine to repair ties with China in the wake of the August 23 hostage fiasco that killed eight tourists from Hong Kong.

China reportedly led a campaign to boycott the Nobel ceremony as it condemned the honoring of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was jailed for his call for reform China's one-party communist rule.

At least 45 countries were reported to have attended the ceremony including United States. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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