THE Philippines will have no ambassador in the United States because President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on naming one.
“Iyung USA, wala tayong ambassador. Walang ambassador pupunta doon. [In the USA, we don’t have an ambassador. We don’t have an ambassador going there]. I don’t feel like sending one,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.
The President had earlier tapped Jose Manuel Romualdez to become the next Philippine envoy to the US, replacing Jose Cuisia Jr.
Romualdez however declined for health reasons.
It has been seven months since the Philippines had an ambassador in the US.
Duterte has previously criticized the US administration, then under President Barack Obama, for calling him out over his bloody war on drugs.
But he pointed out that incumbent US President Donald Trump believes that the country’s anti-drugs campaign is being done “the right way.”
“I appreciate the response that I got from President-elect Trump and I would like to wish him success,” Duterte said.