MANILA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended on Wednesday his criticism of the U.S. envoy to the Philippines for meddling with Philippine domestic affairs, downplaying his statements against U.S. ambassador he made last week.
Duterte said in a speech at a military camp in Zamboanga del Sur in the southern Philippines that Philip Goldberg, the U.S. envoy, has indeed criticized his statement regarding the rape and murder of an Australian missionary during the election campaign.
"They're simply true, anyway," Duterte said, adding that Goldberg's remarks was highly inappropriate and that the envoy should not have done it.
"He is not supposed to meddle (with our affairs) because that's our business," Duterte said.
Goldberg, at the height of the campaign in April, criticized Duterte for making joke about the rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a jail riot in Davao in 1989. Duterte took offence of Goldberg's statement.
Elizabeth Trudeau, spokeswoman of U.S. State Department, told a news conference on Monday that the department summoned Patrick Chuasoto, the diplomat in charge of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C,. to clarify Duterte's remarks about Goldberg.
"We've seen those inappropriate comments made about Ambassador Goldberg," Trudeau said, adding that Goldberg was a "multi-time ambassador and one of our most senior U.S. diplomats." She declined to give details of the meeting.
Charles Jose, a spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, also confirmed that Chuasoto was indeed "invited" by the State Department "to discuss the entire breadth of Philippine-U.S. relations."
"We cannot, however, discuss details of the conversation," Jose said.
Duterte reportedly called Goldberg a "gay ambassador" and "son of a bitch" during a recent meeting with soldiers.
"I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that," Duterte was quoted as saying on the occasion.