MANILA- United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim denied on Thursday that the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wants to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Kim, in a forum with foreign correspondents, said Washington respects Duterte's win in the 2016 elections and stressed that ties between the Philippines and United States remain very strong.
“There is absolutely no effort by the CIA to undermine the Philippines leadership,” Kim said.
“President Duterte won a very impressive election. We respect his election and we are in fact working very well together with his administration,” he added.
Duterte last week claimed that the CIA wanted him out of the government but did not go much into details. Prior to the alleged ouster plot, Duterte said he has also heard that the CIA is out to kill him.
The President has threatened to set up a revolutionary government due to alleged destabilization efforts by his enemies, including communist rebels, the rich, and the CIA.
Kim, however, reiterated Washington's commitment to the Philippines with continued military and humanitarian assistance.
US President Donald Trump will also discuss "all important issues" with Duterte when the former visits Manila next month.
Some of the issues include concerns over North Korea, maritime security, recent developments in Mindanao, economic ties, and strengthening of cultural and people-to-people ties, Kim said.
- report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News