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Breaking News: US Ambassador Goldberg Will Head To PH Next Week To Ask Duterte Not To Break Allies With US

US Ambassador Philip Goldberg on Friday said the US wants to continue its relationship with the Philippines and would like clarification on what President Rodrigo Duterte meant by breaking alliance. 

The ambassador was reacting to a statement Thursday by Duterte while he was in China that he was breaking the Philippines' military and economic alliance with the US, the country's longtime ally. 

"Quite frankly, I don't know what he means by a separation... Our relationship on the economic side is very strong so we need further clarification on that," Goldberg said in an interview on Unang Hirit. 

"The US has a very strong commitment to the Philippines. We have a defense treaty. We consider it to be a solid and solemn commitment. But we can't say what is the case on the Philippine side... We have to clarify exactly what this means in policy terms," he said. 

Goldberg said the US wants to continue its ties with the Philippines because it is "mutually beneficial for both countries."

"So the real question is, what does it all mean? We have a large assistance program here," he said, citing for instance a 200-km road in Samar constructed with assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, humanitarian assistance, scholarship offerings, and disaster relief operations. 

"We worked very hard in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Those are the things allies do together," he added. 

"I don't know what separation means because we're inextricably linked... What I see is that we are working very much with our Philippine colleagues. Nothing but friendly relationships on a working level," Goldberg said. 

"We're committed to an alliance between the two countries... From our point of view, we're not suing for divorce," he said. [source]

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