MANILA - US Ambassador Sung Kim met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea after the release of a report that listed President Rodrigo Duterte as a threat to democracy in Southeast Asia.
Kim explained to Medialdea that the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report published by the US Director of National Intelligence was "an annual assessment on conditions in each of the world’s various regions based on widely available information," said the US embassy said in a press statement.
The US intelligence community report identified Duterte, ruling Thai officials, and Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen as among regional leaders who threaten democracy and human rights.
Medialdea and Kim discussed the references to the Philippines in the report, "including clarifying that the information about the Philippines had been previously reported by media sources," the Embassy said.
Malacañang on Wednesday slammed the report, maintaining that Duterte "is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies."
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of the administration, said the assessment was a "warning shot that he's (Duterte) nearing that red line."
During the meeting, Medialdea and Kim also discussed the countries' "shared interests and possibilities for expanding our partnership," and ended with both officials "reaffirming the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship," said the Embassy.
"The United States will continue to collaborate with the government of the Philippines," it added.
The US report came weeks after the International Criminal Court prosecutor notified the Philippines it was proceeding with the preliminary examination of reports accusing Duterte of crimes against humanity in connection with his bloody war on drugs.