Palace summons US envoy over intel report on PRRD

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MANILA – Malacañang on Friday said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea had summoned United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim to discuss the latest US Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the meeting between Medialdea and Kim took place on February 22, a day after the US Intelligence Community’s assessment tagging President Rodrigo Duterte as among the “regional threats” came out through the media.

Roque, in a statement, said Medialdea has instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine embassy in Washington D.C., to coordinate and engage with the US agencies involved in the writing of the assessment.

“ES Medialdea further directed our embassy officials and staff in the US to provide the latter accurate information on the realities happening on the ground in the Philippines, including the actions taken by the President and his administration to promote socioeconomic development for the country and provide a safe and secure environment for all Filipinos, respecting at all times the rule of law,” Roque said.

Aside from Duterte, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Thai officials have been identified by the US Intelligence Community as among threats to democracy and human rights in the Southeast Asian region.

Last Wednesday, Roque slammed the World Threat Assessment report, saying Duterte “is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies.”

“He adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the Constitution. An autocracy is not prevalent, as they would like everyone to believe,” Roque said in a press statement.

“Our media are still able to broadcast and print what they want – fake news included. Our judiciary and the courts are functioning as usual. Our legislature remains independent and basic services are still being delivered,” he added.

Roque added that there is no revolutionary government or nationwide martial law “which US intelligence officials are saying that the President might declare or impose.” –PNA

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