US envoy summoned after Duterte named in threat report

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MANILA (PHILIPPINES): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide has summoned the US ambassador to discuss a global threat assessment by American intelligence agencies that mentioned Duterte along with dangers facing democracy in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Friday that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea discussed the US intelligence community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment report with US Ambassador Sung Kim on Thursday.

Medialdea also asked US-based Philippine diplomats to explain to Washington steps taken by Duterte to promote economic development and ensure public security while “respecting at all times the rule of law,” Roque said.

The US Embassy said the 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.”

Medialdea and Kim also discussed common interests and the “possibilities for expanding our partnership,” with the meeting ending with a reaffirmation of “the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship,” the embassy said.

The US report says “autocratic tendencies” are expected to deepen in some governments in Southeast Asia and mentioned that Duterte has suggested he could suspend the constitution, declare a “revolutionary government” and impose nationwide martial law.

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