A top diplomat of the United States on Thursday denied allegations about a supposed destabilization plot by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to bring down the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“There is absolutely no effort by the CIA to undermine the Philippines leadership,” U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim told foreign correspondents in a media forum, according to GMA News.
Kim’s denial came after Duterte accused the CIA again of plotting to kill him and the latter threatened to set up a revolutionary government, claiming communist militants and the political opposition have joined forces plotting to oust him.
Duterte, who overwhelmingly won the May 2016 election, has earned the respect of the U.S., a close ally of the Philippines, said Kim.
“President Duterte won a very impressive election. We respect his election and we are in fact working very well together with his administration,” he added.
At the relaunch of the Malacañang news briefing room last Oct. 20, Duterte pointed to the CIA as the one to blame in case of his death.
“As for me, I’ll be telling Filipinos: if I die, it’s America (that’s behind it). It’s the CIA,” the President said, as he blamed the Virginia-based intelligence service for the barrage of criticism against his presidency triggered by his bloody war on illegal drugs.
The American diplomat, however, hinted that it is much more important for them to focus on what they’re doing with their relationship than public statements.
Kim said Duterte indicated to him in one of their meetings that he is keen on maintaining close ties with Washington.
According to him, the President is very clear about his desire to have a strong constructive mutually beneficial relationship with the U.S.
Since last June 2016, Duterte’s war on drugs has already claimed at least 7,000 lives, mostly suspected small-time drug pushers and addicts who resisted police arrest.
The U.S., the European Union and the United Nations have expressed concern on the wave of killings as a result of the Philippine government’s bloody anti-drug campaign. They maintained that due process and Human rights must be observed by authorities in carrying out its operations.
In December, then U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, also denied reports that he submitted a blueprint to the U.S. State Department for the ouster of President Duterte.
The document provided by a highly placed unnamed source attributed Goldberg’s calling for a regime change in Malacanang. Goldberg was replaced by Kim a few weeks after the controversy brokeout.