Palace summons US envoy over latest US ‘threat assessment’ on Duterte

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  • Malacañang has summoned the US ambassador over a recently-published assessment report on President Duterte
  • The Palace earlier objected to the report and dismissed it as “myopic and speculative”
  • The US embassy explained that the report was an assessment based on ‘widely available information’

MANILA, Philippines  –  The Malacañang Palace on Thursday has reportedly summoned United States (US) Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim to discuss the recently-published Worldwide Threat Assessment Report by American intelligence wherein President Rodrigo Duterte was described as among the regional leaders who ‘threaten democracy and human rights’ alongside officials of Thai government and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the US envoy met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who instructed the Foreign Affairs department, through the Philippine Embassy in Washington, “to coordinate and engage with the US agencies involved in writing the assessment”.

In a statement released by the US embassy on Friday, it 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.”

“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 statement read.

Earlier, the Malacañang objected to the report’s reference to Duterte; saying the Philippine leader “is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies.”

“He adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the Constitution. An autocracy is not prevalent, as they would like everyone to believe,” said Roque in a statement.

Roque also dismissed the assessment on the President as “myopic and speculative at best”.