US raises anew homophobic comments | Global News

US raises anew homophobic comments

The US Embassy in Manila on Friday reiterated its concern about President Rodrigo Duterte’s homophobic comments against Ambassador Philip Goldberg and hinted Washington was reconsidering aid to the Philippines.

But Mr. Duterte said he would not apologize to Goldberg.

“He did not apologize to me when we saw each other, why would I apologize to him? He started it,” Mr. Duterte said in a televised interview on Friday.


Goldberg drew Mr. Duterte’s ire during the presidential campaign when he commented about a joke made by the candidate during a rally.


Mr. Duterte spoke about the gang-rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a prison riot in Davao City in 1989. He said the missionary was so beautiful and he should have been the first to rape her.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely responded, saying violence against women was unacceptable and should not be trivialized.

Joining her, Goldberg, speaking in an interview on CNN Philippines, said the United States did not condone any statement by anyone that degraded women or trivialized serious issues like rape.

Mr. Duterte yesterday said Goldberg’s comment hurt him, as it came during the campaign.


‘I was hurt’


“I was hurt, it was election time. Now I’m somewhat OK,” he said.

“Who would not get angry, it was election time and you would say things like that?” he added.

Speaking at a military camp in Cebu City on Aug. 5 after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who pledged $32 million for training and equipment for Philippine troops, Mr. Duterte called Goldberg “gay” and a “son of a whore.”

Human rights

Washington called the Philippine charge d’affaires, Patrick Chuasoto, to explain. Elizabeth Trudeau, spokesperson for the US state department, said Mr. Duterte’s comments about Goldberg were inappropriate.

In a statement issued yesterday, the US Embassy reiterated Trudeau’s concern and said it was alarmed by the rising cases of extrajudicial killings in Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs, adding its aid to the Philippines was based on values promoting rule of law and human rights.

“The US funding of $32 million in question is not new funding, but rather cumulative funding previously appropriated that we are currently implementing. Assistance provided by these funds is subject to the same rigorous vetting as our other security assistance,” the US embassy said.

“[A]ll of our security assistance promotes human rights through training content and by promoting professionalism, due process, and the rule of law,” it said.

“The United States strongly believes in the rule of law, due process, and respect for universal human rights, and that these principles promote long-term security,” it added.

The embassy urged the Duterte administration to “ensure its law enforcement efforts are consistent with its human rights obligations.”

“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.

Not for public

Malacañang said on Thursday that Mr. Duterte’s remarks were not meant to be made public, and that explanations had already been made to Washington.

The Palace said the alliance between the Philippines and the United States remained intact. With a report from Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao/TVJ


Duterte on calling Goldberg gay: Why should I apologize?

Duterte: No apologies for remarks on Goldberg

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US says Duterte’s ‘bakla’ comment vs Goldberg ‘inappropriate’

TAGS: Ambassador Philip Goldberg, Duterte, President Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte, US-Philippine relations

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