Kenney: I cried at Cory funeral

by Jojo Malig,

Posted at Sep 01 2011 11:16 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2011 07:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney on Thursday said she cried at the funeral of former President Corazon Aquino, just a day after she recieved flak for allegedly badmouthing the former leader in an embassy cable published by WikiLeaks.

Kenney, now US envoy to Thailand, did not deny sending the cable.

"I thought Pres Cory had courage and charisma. And I cried at her funeral," she said on microblogging website Twitter.

The US diplomat also expressed dismay at criticisms levelled against her by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario over the contents of the leaked cable.

"[I] don't like such words fm a friend like DFA Sec del Rosario. But he was my first Filipino friend so I won't speak against him,"  she said.

"Haven't spoken to him recently but I respect DFA Secretary del Rosario and consider him a friend," Kenney added in a separate tweet.

She issued the statements in reply to questions made by Filipinos on Twitter.

Kenney, who was also earlier asked to comment on the WikiLeaks cable, said in her Twitter account: "Don't believe everything you read."

Del Rosario on Wednesday criticized Kenney as a "dismal failure" in an angry reaction to the cable on Aquino.

"She (Kenney) was a dismal failure in helping the Filipinos defend our democracy. It would seem that she preferred to be favourably looked upon by the (Philippine presidential) palace," del Rosario said, as quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Del Rosario's comments, via text message to AFP while he was in Beijing, were in response to requests for a reaction about a leaked cable apparently sent by Kenney in July, 2009.

According to the Wikileaks documents, Kenney wrote that Aquino had been a weak, tarnished leader who did not do enough to fight corruption.

Aquino led the "People Power" revolution of 1986 that overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos, then served for 6 years as president.

Her son, Benigno Aquino, was elected President in July last year in a landslide victory, partly due to the outpouring of public sympathy for his mother after she died of cancer in August, 2009.

The comments from Del Rosario, a key member of the latest Aquino administration, about Kenney referred to what he indicated was her apparent desire to curry favor with the president of the time, Gloria Arroyo.

Aquino's administration has repeatedly accused Arroyo of vote fraud and massive corruption during her nearly 10 years in power.

The US embassy said in a statement it would not comment on the Wikileaks cable. - with a report from AFP