Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly called the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg “son of a bitch” and “gay.”
This was the latest in the spat between the Philippine’s chief executive and the American envoy after Goldberg issued a statement denouncing Duterte’s joke about a rape case that happened 20 years ago. Goldberg’s statement irked Duterte, which triggered the animosity between the two.
After four soldiers were killed by a communist troop in the southern part of the Philippines over the weekend, Duterte singled out Goldberg and commented about the U.S. envoy.
Duterte’s remarks directed against Goldberg has been omitted from the official statement issued by the Palace communication officials. But videos showing Duterte’s remarks against Goldberg were uploaded on YouTube, as reported by the Business Standard.
“I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that,” Duterte was quoted as saying by the Business Standard.
The president said that the outgoing ambassador has no business to issue such statement, especially during the campaign period. Duterte won the May 9 elections in a landslide, with more than 6 million margin from his closest rival, previous administration-anointed bet, Mar Roxas.
But it was not the first occasion the 60-year-old multi-term and senior envoy found himself in a bad light. Before earning the ire of the Philippine president, Goldberg was evicted and replaced from his previous assignment when Bolivian President Evo Morales accused him of causing political unrest, the Telegraph reported.
“Without fear of the empire, I declare Mr Goldberg, the US ambassador, ‘persona non grata. He is conspiring against democracy and seeking the division of Bolivia,” Morales was quoted as saying by the Telegraph in a September 2008 report.