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‘Di bago ‘yan! US envoy to PH tells Palace: Threat assessment of Duterte based on available info

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The United States Intelligence Community report which branded President Rodrigo Duterte as a threat to democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia was based on “widely available information,” the US Embassy said Friday (February 22).

In a statement, the US Embassy confirmed that Ambassador Sung Kim met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on February 22 to discuss the recently released Worldwide Threat Assessment Report published by the Director of National Intelligence.

During the meeting, the US Embassy said Kim explained that the report was “an annual assessment on conditions in each of the world’s various regions based on widely available information.

“Their 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,” it said.

The US intelligence community’s report dated February 13 put Duterte in the same league as Cambodian leader Hun Sen, the crisis of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Thailand’s military-backed Constitution as threats to democracy in Southeast Asia.

“In the Philippines, President Duterte will continue to wage his signature campaign against drugs, corruption and crime,” the report read.

It noted that Duterte also hinted about declaring a revolutionary government and suspending the Constitution.

The US embassy said Kim and Medialdea also discussed “shared interests and possibilities for expanding our partnership.

“The meeting ended with both Executive Secretary Medialdea and Ambassador Kim reaffirming the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship,” it said.

In a separate statement, Malacañang said Medialdea ordered 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.”