Duterte asked to reconsider decision not to send envoy to US
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision not to appoint a new ambassador to the United States because this could further upset relations with the country’s longtime ally.
Ties between the Philippines and the United States had turned icy after then President Barack Obama expressed concern over Mr. Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that had resulted in the deaths of thousands of drug offenders.
In response, Mr. Duterte called Obama a “son of a bitch” and announced his administration will pull the Philippines away from Washington’s decades-long influence.
On Thursday, Mr. Duterte said he didn’t “feel” like sending a new ambassador to replace Jose Cuisia Jr., who had left Washington seven months ago.
“Our (Department of Foreign Affairs) may wish to respectfully advise our President that such a declared preference not to send an ambassador may be viewed as a very disturbing message in relations between states,” Del Rosario said in a statement on Friday.
Del Rosario said he agreed with the President’s position not to help illegal Filipino immigrants. He said Mr. Duterte was correct not to interfere with the internal affairs of another state.
“He is also correct in ensuring that the Department of Foreign Affairs provides all possible consular assistance to our undocumented Filipinos on a worldwide basis,” he said.
Ties between the Philippines and the United States could warm up with new US President Donald Trump’s support for the Duterte administration’s antiillegal drugs campaign.
Following a phone conversation with Trump early in December, Mr. Duterte said “he could sense a good rapport” with the new US leader.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.