US State Department on Monday denied that former ambassador Philip Goldberg had written a blueprint to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, noting that aid programs and defense cooperation between Manila and Washington were proof of American commitment to build Philippine institutions.
Bellow is the statement to The Manila Times issued by Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs:
“These allegations of a blueprint are false. No such blueprint exists.
“As Secretary Kerry said in his meeting with President Duterte in July, the United States respects the sovereignty of the Philippines and the democratic choices made by the Philippine people in selecting their leaders.
“Our ongoing aid programs and defense cooperation demonstrate our commitment to building Philippine institutions and to the Philippines’ success as a country and within ASEAN.
“As we have said, our relationship with the Philippines is broad and our alliance is one of our most enduring and important relationships in the Asia Pacific region. It has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years. It is built on shared sacrifices for democracy and human rights and strong people-to-people and societal ties. We continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines, and will work together in the many areas of mutual interest to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people and uphold our shared democratic values.”