LAWMAKERS on Monday said the rift between Manila and Washington could only worsen if a blueprint to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, supposedly written by former US ambassador Philip Goldberg, actually unfolds.
“If there is such a plan, that will further alienate and strain our relationship with each other as a country,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd.
Sotto said it would be better if the US left the Philippines alone and did not interfere with the Duterte government.
But Sotto believes Duterte will not ousted because the President has not been implicated in any corruption issue.
“The people will accept a politician for most everything except stealing,” he added.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe agrees with the view expressed in the supposed Goldberg paper that Congress would be divided on the issue of Charter change, but he added that the majority coalition would not break up because of it.
“There is always a possibility that the US has some plan or two to destabilize a country especially if it is taking a direction against [US] interests,” he said.
“As for the fear that Congress will be divided on Charter change, I have no doubt it will be since we are not just discussing an insignificant provision but a fundamental change,” Batocabe said.
“But then I do not foresee that Charter change will cause the breakup of the coalition. The popularity of the President will be the major determinant on whether the coalition will hold or not,” he added.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said “No one will admit ownership of the alleged ouster plot document.”
“Until then, it remains part and parcel of a larger conspiracy theory. 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,” he added.