Philippine President Duterte branded U.S envoys as spies in response to a media report of an alleged plot to overthrow the government by America. Mr Duterte went on to say that some ambassadors were solely there to remove him.
The outburst follows an article in The Manila Times newspaper that was published on Tuesday. The article claims to have seen a document entitled “blueprint to undermine Duterte” passed to the paper by a “highly placed source”.
President Duterte has apparently not had this confirmed by his own intelligence agencies but believes that U.S ambassadors and the CIA often work together to undermine governments.
The U.S State Department has described the allegations and the document as “false”.
President Duterte said in a TV interview, “Most of the ambassadors of the United States, but not all, are not really professional ambassadors. At the same time they are spying, they are connected with the CIA.
“The ambassador of a country is the number one spy. But there are ambassador of the U.S., their forte is really to undermine governments.”
The Philippine president has often made open declarations of disdain towards the U.S and President Barack Obama in particular who he famously told to “go to hell.” President Duterte said he would honour the treaties drawn up between his country and the United States and that he was looking forward to Donald Trump taking office.
The article that appeared in The Manila Times cited U.S ambassador Philip Goldberg as trying to instigate various methods to destabilise the current government. This included supporting the opposition and controlling the media. As well as co-opting the military, neighbouring countries, and government officials to turn against President Duterte.
Goldberg has just returned home from an eighteen-month stint as ambassador to the Philippines, and was previously expelled from Bolivia for allegedly orchestrating protests and siding with government opposition.