Senators honor Goldberg in send-off dinner | Global News

Senators honor Goldberg in send-off dinner

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 05:55 AM October 16, 2016


Outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg thanks senators during a dinner at Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City on Friday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Despite the tirades and insults heaped by President Duterte on the United States, some senators honored outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg with a farewell dinner at a Makati hotel on Friday and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening Philippine-US ties.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said it was a cordial evening when several lawmakers feted Goldberg at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel as the envoy wrapped up a three-year tour in the country.


Repeated tirades


“The mood was very light, warm and pleasant. I thanked him for his effort in strengthening PH-US relations at all levels, although there were a number of challenges in the last 100 days,” Drilon told the Inquirer yesterday.

Drilon was referring to the first 100 days of President Duterte’s leadership, where the new Commander in Chief let out repetitive tirades against the United States, the country’s strongest defense ally, and its leaders.

Mr. Duterte addressed Obama in a speech earlier this month, telling him to “go to hell” as he threatened to break up with America in favor of Russia and China.

The United States had expressed worry over the new administration’s war on drugs, citing the growing death toll attributed to vigilante slays.

Goldberg himself had drawn Mr. Duterte’s ire, being called “gay” twice by the Philippine leader in public speeches for his criticism of the President’s joke about the rape of a slain Australian missionary during the campaign period.

Goldberg did not comment on the vulgar slurs, saying: “I’m a diplomat. I don’t respond to those comments, quite frankly.”


Light mood

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, among the senators in attendance at the dinner, said there was not a lot of political talk at the table.

“The mood was light and, most of the time, talk was

not centered on politics,” Angara said.

As to relations between the Philippines and the United States, Drilon said Goldberg believed it would endure.

“He does not see any change in that policy,” Drilon said.

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Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino and Sen. Leila de Lima were also present in Friday’s affair.

TAGS: Duterte, Goldberg, Philip Goldberg, Rodrigo Duterte, senators

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