Manila Summons US Ambassador as Duterte Called 'Threat to Democracy' in Report

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

The Philippines has summoned USA ambassador Sung Kim over an American intelligence report that mentioned President Duterte as long as other threats in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, according to Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque.

Ambassador Sung Kim met Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was quoted as saying by Efe news. "Their discussion focused on the references to the Philippines in the report, including clarifying that the information about the Philippines had been previously reported by media sources".

Kim explained to Medialdea that the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report published by the US Director of National Intelligence was "an annual assessment on conditions in each of the world's various regions based on widely available information", said the US embassy said in a press statement.

"The meeting ended with both Executive Secretary Medialdea and Ambassador Kim reaffirming the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship", the embassy stated.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador explained to Medialdea the nature of the Central Intelligence Agency report, which is based on widely available information, according to a statement sent to Efe by the US Embassy.

In a speech in Iloilo province, Duterte said that he does not want the Philippines to be dragged into a war that has nothing to do with the Philippines.

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In its recently-published worldwide threat assessment report, the USA agency said democracy and human rights in many Southeast Asian countries will "remain fragile" this year due to corruption, "cronyism" and "autocratic tendencies".

"Autocratic tendencies" were mentioned in the U.S. report, referring to Duterte's suggestions to establish a "revolutionary government" and impose nationwide martial law.

President Rodrigo Duterte of Philiphines has said he would not allow Philippine troops to participate in any armed conflicts involving the U. S.

Roque earlier dismissed the assessment as "myopic and speculative at best".

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of the House of Representatives, a staunch Duterte supporter, immediately came the president's rescue as he urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to file a diplomatic protest with Washington over the release of the report.

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