The US Department of State has summoned the Philippine envoy to discuss the status of bilateral ties between the two allies after President Rodrigo Duterte’s untoward remarks against the US ambassador.
US State Department press office director Elizabeth Trudeau said they met with Filipino charge d'affaires Patrick Chuasoto in Washington on Monday, GMA News reported.
Trudeau said they mostly talked about Duterte’s “gay” comments against US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in a public speaking engagement last week.
“The first, specifically on the remarks, we’ve seen those inappropriate comments made about Ambassador Goldberg. He’s a multi-time ambassador, one of our most senior U.S. diplomats,” she said. “We have asked the Philippine's charge to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks.”
Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose also confirmed the meeting between Trudeau and Chuasoto, adding that there is nothing to be worried about. “We cannot, however, discuss details of the conversion. What I can tell you is that PH-US relations remain strong,” he said.
Duterte referred to Goldberg as being “gay” during his speech at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City last Friday after meeting with him and US Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago. “Nag-away kami ng Ambassador niyang bakla… Buwisit ako diyan,” said the president.
Apparently, Duterte was not pleased when Goldberg went against him during the campaign period when he made a crass joke regarding the rape of a slain Australian missionary in Davao City back in 1989.
“Nakikisali doon sa eleksyon, giving statement here and there. He was not supposed to do that,” he added.