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Apologies to US envoy

/ 05:19 AM February 13, 2015
US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. AFP FILE PHOTO

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The Inquirer apologizes for an erroneous report, “Resolve row in Mindanao, urges US envoy,” which appeared on Page A6 in its Feb. 12 issue.

Contrary to the report, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg did not say the Mamasapano debacle should be resolved soonest as this might discourage foreign investments in the country.

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The erroneous report quoted Goldberg as saying in a regional media forum at the US Embassy in Manila that the Mamasapano incident should be addressed with urgency as this would affect business confidence on Philippines.

The quote attributed to the ambassador concerning the BBL was false.

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Following is what Goldberg actually said when he was asked the question “With recent developments in Mindanao, how can US aid assist the Philippine government in ensuring the peace process on the island?”

“One of the things that you know people have to recognize is it’s kind of a chicken-and-egg-dilemma, which comes first in this case: Peace or development; or can you have development when there’s still conflict. So for some of the private sector, if there are opportunities they’ll go in but some want to hold back and wait and see what happens but at a governmental level we have and continue to support the peace process in Mindanao and we want to concentrate our efforts where we can to support economic development,” a transcript provided by the US Embassy quoted Goldberg as saying.

“We do it in an environment, that admittedly, is not—in many areas of Mindanao—conducive to development work. If you can’t get in, if you can’t do things in certain places because of the security situation,” he said.

“But we have these programs, community programs, community projects, we have the Zamboanga kind of all-in effort through the CDI that we’re now developing and working with the mayor and local governments and we’ll continue to do so,” Goldberg said.

“You know we’re all aware of events in Mindanao over the last 10 days. You know we don’t necessarily… and the issues are really internal issues for the Philippines to work through in terms of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and so forth but the international partners of the Philippines and the peace process obviously would like to help in any way we can if that helps the government in its efforts to bring about a lasting peace,” he said.

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TAGS: apology, Diplomacy, Philip Goldberg, Philippines, US, US ambassador
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