MALACAÑANG on Tuesday belittled an alleged plot by the former US ambassador to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, noting he has the overwhelming trust of the people.
Commenting on The Manila Times story that ex-US envoy Philip Goldberg had outlined “strategies” to undermine President Duterte and eventually remove him from office, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters “according to the article, whoever attempts this will find it difficult.”
“As we can see, you know, the President continues to enjoy the trust of the people. People on the ground apparently appreciate what he’s doing,” Abella said in a news conference.
Abella noted that the US State Department had denied any hand in supposed attempts to unseat Duterte.
“We have not received any news from the State Department apparently. As far as I know, as far as I’ve been informed, the State Department has denied…participation in anything of this sort,” the Palace official said.
Duterte and Goldberg had a rift before the latter ended his stint in Manila in October. Duterte badmouthed Goldberg for the envoy’s criticism of his joke during the election campaign about the 1989 rape of an Australian missionary.
Commenting on the Times report on Monday, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said: “Ambassador Philip Goldberg already exited the Philippines, so therefore, we no longer have to deal with him. We have already in our midst a new and much more empathetic US Ambassador in His Excellency Sung Kim.”