Goldberg on Duterte’s latest gay slur: I’m a diplomat; no comment
Outgoing United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg on Wednesday said it would not be productive to respond to the latest gay slur of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I’m a diplomat. I don’t respond to those comments, quite frankly,” Golberg said in a press conference after he received a commendation at the House of Representatives.
“I don’t respond to or take personally comments such as the ones you mentioned,” he said, speaking to a reporter.
Goldberg attended the plenary session to receive the conferment of the Golden Mace Award from the House for his efforts to strengthen the ties between the US and the Philippines.
He received the award from Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas, Duterte’s staunchest allies in the House, just hours after the President again made an issue about Goldberg’s sexuality.
“Now, itong si Goldberg, for the second time, totoo eh. What’s wrong if you are gay?” Duterte said in a speech at Malacañang after the oath-taking of his appointees and the officers of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.
“Well, totoo naman ang sinabi ko and had started the ruckus. Siya because he rode onto a statement of mine that was a narration of a true event,” he added.
Goldberg said it would be counterproductive to respond Duterte’s latest tirade against him.
Duterte once castigated Goldberg for being gay as he launched verbal attacks against the US, the Philippines’ longtime ally, in a move to shift the country’s alliance to China.
Goldberg added that it would be better to strengthen the ties between the two countries and maintain the longstanding friendship between them.
“I don’t think it’s productive. I don’t think it’s consistent with what I was just talking about, which is the great friendship between our people of the two countries, the great alliance between the US and the Philippines which continues,” Goldberg said.
“None of that, I think, is something that I would respond to. I think that it’s better to focus on the work we can do together,” he added.