Duterte ‘gay’ remarks ‘unacceptable’—US Embassy
The US Embassy in Manila on Friday reiterated the US state department’s stand that President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments against its Ambassador Philip Goldberg were “inappropriate.”
In a statement, the Embassy said, “We have seen reports of inappropriate and unacceptable comments made about Ambassador Goldberg, a multi-time ambassador and one of the US Department of State’s most senior diplomats.”
“As stated by Elizabeth Trudeau, Director of the Office of Press Relations at US Department of State, the Philippine Chargé was asked to come to the State Department so we could directly convey our view that the comments were inappropriate and unacceptable,” it said, adding that the “diplomatic discussions” that ensued will not be detailed.
Duterte, during a speech in Cebu, called Goldberg “bakla” or “gay” for supposedly interfering in Philippine politics. He complained that the ambassador was “giving statements here and there.”
In the statement, the Embassy also alluded to the increasing number of killings related to the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
It said the US believes in the rule of law, due process, and respect for universal human rights, which promote long-term security.
“We are concerned by reports regarding extrajudicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug activity in the Philippines,” it said.
“We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts are consistent with its human rights obligations,” the US Embassy said in a statement similar to that of Trudeau.
The Embassy further clarified that the $32 million it provided to assist the Philippines was previously appropriated.
“All of our security assistance promotes human rights through training content and by promoting professionalism, due process, and the rule of law. Our partnership with the Philippines is based on a shared respect for rule of law, and we will continue to emphasize the importance of this fundamental democratic principle,” it said.
Despite the negative comments against Golberg, the Embassy said the US has a “broad-ranging” bilateral relationship with the Philippines.
“The US-Philippine relationship, one of our most important in the Asia Pacific, has withstood the test of time,” it said. RAM/rga
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