Palace questions US envoy on intel report on PH | Inquirer News

Palace questions US envoy on intel report on PH

/ 07:15 AM February 24, 2018

Salvador Medialdea

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Malacañang has summoned Washington’s envoy over the US intelligence community’s report on the Philippines that President Duterte’s spokesperson had earlier called “myopic and speculative at best.”

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea met with Ambassador Sung Kim on Thursday to discuss the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report, which said democracy and human rights in many Southeast Asian countries remain fragile because of the “autocratic tendencies” of some regimes.


The report also said countries in the region would “struggle to preserve foreign policy autonomy in the face of Chinese economic and diplomatic coercion.”



Duterte’s statements


It noted Duterte’s statements that he could suspend the Constitution, declare a revolutionary government, and expand martial law to the entire country.

A US Embassy statement said Kim explained that the report was “an annual assessment on conditions in each of the world’s various regions based on widely available information,” including various media sources.

The embassy said Kim and Medialdea also “discussed shared interests and possibilities for expanding our partnership.”


“The United States will continue to collaborate with the government of the Philippines. The meeting ended with both Executive Secretary Medialdea and Ambassador Kim reaffirming the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship,” the embassy said.

Tasked to coordinate

Medialdea had tasked the Department of Foreign Affairs to coordinate and engage with US agencies that were involved in writing the assessment, said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

He also told Philippine Embassy officials and staff in the United States to provide Americans “accurate information on the realities happening on the ground in the Philippines,” Roque said.

Earlier, Roque said Mr. Duterte was no autocrat and adhered to the rule of law.

“An autocracy is not prevalent, as they would like everyone to believe. Our media are still able to broadcast and print what they want—‘fake news’ included. Our judiciary and the courts are functioning as usual. Our legislature remains independent and basic services are still being delivered,” he said.

Testy relationship


Mr. Duterte has had a testy relationship with Washington, badmouthing the Obama administration after it had expressed concern over the thousands of drug-related killings in the country.

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He has since warmed up to US President Barack Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.—WITH A REPORT FROM JEROME ANING

TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte, Sung Kim, US Embassy

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