Solon wants Obama, Trump to come ‘clean’ of oust-Duterte ‘plot’
A lawmaker wants outgoing United States President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump to come with their “hands clean” and make a categorical denial of any US government plot to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo issued the call despite an earlier statement by the US Embassy in Manila categorically denying the reported plot allegedly being hatched by former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.
“While we respect the denial made by the US embassy in Manila as reported in the media, this matter involves decision at the highest level of the US government — and if such recommendation from former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg does exist, the Philippines is entitled to know what the US President did or is going to do about it,” Castelo said in a statement on Thursday.
Castelo was referring to The Manila Times’ report that Goldberg allegedly left a “blueprint” for Duterte’s ouster or a “recommendation to the US state department for the removal of the Philippine President from office.”
The lawmaker noted that the US “is not exactly innocent” when it comes to undermining or ousting government regimes in other countries.
“[T]he US played a crucial role in the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos,” Castelo said.
“In fact, the US played a crucial role in the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos,” Castelo said.
He then urged Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay to formally send a note verbale to the US Embassy in Manila and ask for an explanation, “including how such sensitive document, if it does exist, could have been leaked and if the leak is not, in fact, meant to be part of the destabilization plot.”
“It could also be possible that some groups responsible for the leak are trying to undermine PH-US relations, capitalizing on President Duterte’s recent attacks against the US,” said the lawmaker.
While the Congress can look into the report, Castelo expressed doubts that it could make any headway since the Philippines has no jurisdiction over any embassy official or any official of the US government.
“The only person we can invite or summon is Mr. Dante Ang and it is doubtful if he can shed any light other than what he has already written,” he said.
“The best way to deal with this matter is through diplomatic channels — our Department of Foreign Affairs directly going to the US Embassy and the US State Department,” Castelo added.
Ang is the owner of The Manila Times and the author of the article about the alleged US plot against Duterte. CBB
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