U.S. govt summons Philippines envoy after Duterte hurls insults at ambassador
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U.S. govt summons Philippines envoy after Duterte hurls insults at ambassador

THE Philippines envoy to the United States has been asked to clarify an incident involving derogatory remarks reportedly made by President Rodrigo Duterte towards the U.S. ambassador to Manila recently.

The State Department said it has summoned the Filipino envoy asking him to clarify insulting and “inappropriate” comments Duterte made against U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, Voice of America reported.

“We have asked the Philippine chargé to come into the State Department to clarify those remarks,” the department’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, said.

Asked about the details of the conversation, Trudeau declined to elaborate on what was discussed between Patrick Chuasoto, the charge d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, and U.S. officials.

SEE ALSO: Philippine presidential candidate Duterte: US, Australia can sever ties with country

Last week, Duterte took a swipe Goldberg, calling the diplomat “gay” during a speech before soldiers in Camp Lapu Lapu in Cebu City, ABS-CBN news reported on Friday night.

“Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and I talked to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He was okay. I had a rift with his ambassador (Philip Goldberg), his gay ambassador. He meddled during the elections, giving statements. You’re not supposed to do that. That son of a bitch really annoyed me,” Duterte said.

Goldberg is set to leave his post in October after completing his term as envoy in Manila.

Prior to his landslide election victory in May, Duterte told the United States and Australia that they could sever ties with the nation if he won the election. His comments come after ambassadors from both countries voiced their dismay over his “joke” about a rape case.

Telling the ambassadors to “shut their mouths”, Duterte said they had no business to talk about him and the country’s affairs.

“I never interfere in their elections. If I become president, go ahead and sever it (ties with the Philippines),” he said.

Duterte was referring to the 1989 gang rape of an Australian missionary worker by prisoners, making inappropriate comments about the victim’s beauty and how the rapists had gotten to her first. Footage of the speech was then posted to YouTube, sparking anger among netizens.