US bristles at Duterte’s ‘inappropriate’ comments on Goldberg

US bristles at Duterte’s ‘inappropriate’ comments on Goldberg

Duterte called Goldberg 'gay' and 'the son of a whore'

- in News
File photo of US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg visiting then-President-elect Rodrigo Duterte Duterte at the DPWH compound in Davao City in June. Photo from the Office of the City Mayor Davao City

The US State Department summoned Philippine charge d’affaires Patrick Chuasoto to convey to him its view on recent comments made on US Ambassador Philip Goldberg that it said were “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

While it did not state what the comments were or who made them, it was clear the State Department was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s calling Goldberg “gay” and “the son of a whore” in Tagalog.

“We have seen reports of inappropriate and unacceptable comments made about Ambassador Goldberg, a multi-time ambassador and one of the US Department of State’s most senior diplomats,” the US Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement.

“As stated by Elizabeth Trudeau, Director of the Office of Press Relations at US Department of State, the Philippine Chargé was asked to come to the State Department so we could directly convey our view that the comments were inappropriate and unacceptable. We do not go into details of those diplomatic discussions,” it added.

The embassy also clarified the US funding of $32 million, which Duterte had earlier claimed was a show of support by the US government for his hardline stance against crime

“The U.S. funding of $32 million in question is not new funding, but rather cumulative funding previously appropriated that we are currently implementing,” the embassy said.

“Assistance provided by these funds is subject to the same rigorous vetting as our other security assistance. All of our security assistance promotes human rights through training content and by promoting professionalism, due process, and the rule of law. 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 added.

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

It said the US is concerned by reports regarding extrajudicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug activity in the Philippines.

“We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts are consistent with its human rights obligations,” the embassy said.

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