By: Elena Grace Flores
President Duterte can’t see any reason or refused to apologize for his homophobic remarks against US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, saying it was not becoming of the envoy to dip his fingers in internal issues such as the May 2016 elections and’ it’s true anyway. He specifically said:“Just leave me with my broadsides (with him), they were true anyway,” the President said on Wednesday. He called Goldberg “gay” (bakla in Pilipino) during his visit to a military camp in Cebu few days ago.
He added: “I reiterate our strong alliance with America,” he said. It would be logical to turn to the US for defense commodities because of its long-standing military cooperation with the country; he said – but what’s puzzing is that, why can’t he control his mouth in saying bad things about the Americans helping the Philippines?
“I will not compromise the weaponry of the Armed Forces,” Duterte said. However, Duterte cannot hide his grudge on Goldberg when he was critized by the latter with regards to his “joke” about the rape-slay of an Australian missionary in Davao City back in 1989.
In response, the then presidential candidate challenged the US to cut its diplomatic ties with the Philippines, its former colony and a strategic ally in the Asia-Pacific region.
“You’re not a Filipino. Shut up. Do not interfere because it’s election time,” Mr. Duterte had told Goldberg then.
The President said Goldberg should have not dipped his fingers in Philippine politics.
“It’s simply the truth. Why did he give those statements while the election is going on? That’s our business. It doesn’t concern him … It was during the campaign,” Duterte said in a mix of Bisaya and English in his speech before soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division here on Wednesday.
The President’s latest statements prompted the American government to summon Philippine Charge d’Affaires to Washington D.C. Patrick Chuasoto regarding the Chief Executive’s “inappropriate comments” against its ambassador to the Philippines.
“We’ve seen those inappropriate comments made about Ambassador Goldberg. He’s a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior diplomats,” US State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said. SFM
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