US wants to keep ‘very good relationship’ with PHL

MANILA — Inspite of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that he wants to separate from the US both in military and economic aspects, the US wants to continue its friendship with the Philippines and are “committed to this relationship.”

“From our point of view we are not suing for divorce,” outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg on Friday said in a chance interview.

“We want to continue this relationship, we’re committed to this relationship, and we’re committed to the alliance between the two countries, that’s what we want,” he pointed out.

However, he said his government is asking for clarification on the recent statement made by President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his visit to China that he wants “economic separation” from the US.

“Well, I think we need clarifications about what the President [Duterte] has said while he was in China, quite frankly, I don’t know what he means by separation, I don’t know what he means by economic separation either, our two economies, like the world economy are very much linked,” he stressed.

“I don’t know what the process is, I don’t know what the goal and objective is, all I know is what I hear and not what I see, because what I see is that we’re still working very much, we are the Philippine colleagues and in fact have very good relationship,” he added.

The Chief US envoy to the Philippines noted that they are “going through a period of uncertainty that we need to figure out.”

President Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States both in military and economic aspects before Chinese and government officials.

“I announce my separation from the United States, both in military but economics also,” Duterte was quoted as saying during his message at the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum. Sammy Martin/