During his farewell lunch, Philip Goldberg, United States Ambassador to the Philippines, faced the press covering the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and shared that regardless of whoever shall become the next President of the United States between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton after the elections in November, the alliance between the US and the Philippines will remain unchanged.
He said that the ties between the United States and the Philippines remain strong, and that the US’ commitment to the Philippines is clear. He also shared his thoughts by saying that whatever government is in power, the US and the Philippines will remain allies and friends.
The outgoing ambassador further cited the 3.5 million Filipino-Americans, and the rich history between the two countries for the last 70 years, something that a change of administration in the US will not be able to change, much less affect.
Goldberg also emphasized that the reported threats of assassination from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against President Rodrigo Duterte is not true. He said, as friends of the Philippines, he doesn’t know where those reports came from, and that it has no basis.
The diplomat also sounded wistful and nostalgic as he recalled the joint projects that that he was involved in the Philippines within the last three years as US Ambassador.
He recalled typhoon Yolanda and the relief efforts that both the US and Philippine armed forces were able to accomplish as allies. He said it reminded him of the close friendship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the US troops have pulled out some of their equipment and transport vehicles from Zamboanga, and the 2016 military exercises have ended a day earlier than scheduled.
President Duterte also verbally instructed the Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana to halt preparations for the 2017 military exercises between the US and the Philippines, saying that there will be no more Balikatan exercises between US and Philippines under his presidency.
He, however, clarified that US and Philippines will remain as allies, and the military alliance between the two countries will remain.