US Ambassador Philip Goldber told Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that it is not true that the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plans to kill Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
It was during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum when the Defense chief said that he talked to Ambassador Goldberg. The US ambassador said that they do not do that kind of thing.
This issue was brought up when Duterte mentioned in his speech in Hanoi last month that he heard reports that the CIA was planning to kill him. Lorenzana, on the other hand, says that he doesn’t know where the President hears such rumors.
“I don’t actually know the origin of those comments niya. Maybe he hears some information from others,” Lorenzana said.
Recently, the relationship between the Philippines and US went to a downward turn when Duterte said strong statements against the US President, US Ambassador, and the USA in general. Duterte called the US ambassador “bakla” in August while in September, he threatened to curse Obama if he discusses the killings in the Philippines. It was because of this comment that Obama decided to cancel the supposed meeting with Duterte at the ASEAN Summit in Laos. As if this is not enough, President also added a rather harsh comment for the US president telling him “Mr. Obama, you can go to hell.”
After the unfolding of such events in the past few months, many were expressing their concern about the PH-US relations but Lorenzana assured that the relationship between the two countries remains steady.
Lorenzana compared this to going through “bumps on the road” and that it was normal for relationships to arrive to such a point. He also mentioned that this was not the first time that there had been a problem between the two countries.
The Defense chief said that he personally welcomed these developments as it give both parties time to reassess the relationship. “Maybe we should reassess what we should be getting from the alliance,” he said.
Moreover, Lorenzana said that maybe this would give the Philippines an opportunity to look at other possible sources of materials and military equipment. He also believed that this is just a sign that the country is “growing up” and that it’s good to “not be too dependent on one country.”