WASHINGTON – The US State Division summoned Philippine embassy Charge d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto to look for explanation of what it said were “inappropriate remarks” made by President Duterte against US Representative Philip Goldberg.
The director of the State Department press office, Elizabeth Trudeau, said Chuasoto was brought in for a clarification of Duterte’s comments however declined to give further details.
Duterte has openly called Goldberg “gay” and “a son of a bitch.”
Duterte’s dislike for Goldberg goes back to the campaign period when the ambassador called him out for making a joke about the rape and murder of an Australian minister during a 1989 Davao City jail riot.
Trudeau said at a news conference, the State Department was worried about the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers urged the Duterte administration to guarantee law enforcement efforts do not violate human rights.
She said US authorities were in discussions with Filipino powers to stress the significance of the rule of law, a fundamental democratic principle.
“We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts comply with its human rights obligations,” she said.
In answer to a question, she said a $32-million assistance package reported by Secretary of State John Kerry during a recent visit to Manila to help the Duterte administration’s strengthened law efforts was intended to promote human rights through training as well as promote professionalism, due process and rule of law. The cash should not be utilized in activities involving extrajudicial killings, she said.