Goldberg: CIA plot to oust, kill Duterte ‘not true’
Outgoing United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg denied President Rodrigo Duterte’s claims that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is plotting to oust and assassinate him.
“No. Those kinds of statements are not correct, not true,” Goldberg recently told INQUIRER.net in a chance interview in the ARMM Health Forum in Pasay City.
“We’re friends of the Philippines. We’re allies of the Philippines. We respect democracy in the Philippines,” he added.
In his working visit to Vietnam last month, Duterte claimed that the CIA was plotting to oust him.
“Sabi nila, pa-plano-plano raw ang CIA na patayin ako. Susmaryosep, ginoo (They say that the CIA is planning to kill me.),” Duterte told the Filipino community in Hanoi.
Duterte also recently chllenged US President Barack Obama to use the CIA to oust him.
“You want to oust me? You want to use the CIA? Go ahead. I said I put at stake my honor, my life, and the presidency. What happens to me is really a part of my destiny. If I am ousted, then that is part of my presidency,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.
But Goldberg stressed that the President’s remarks had no basis.
“I don’t know what’s that about quite frankly. But I’ll leave it at that. It has no foundation,” he added.
A change in administration in the US following its elections in November will not affect the Philippines-US relations.
Goldberg, who is about to leave his Manila post “in a couple of weeks,” assumed the two countries will remain “good friend and allies.”
“Our commitment with the Philippines is clear. We have been good allies, we will remain good allies. I think whatever government is in the United States, it will value the Philippines as an ally and friend,” the ambassador said.
Duterte has demonstrated a tough stance against the US, threatening to pull the plugs on the Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement and joint patrols in the South China Sea.
The President also repeatedly said the Philippines will adopt an “independent” foreign policy and will forge alliances with China and Russia.
Duterte is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing during a state visit.
But Goldberg, who received repetitive personal attacks from Duterte, maintained that Manila and Washington’s relationship will remain strong. RAM/rga
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