PH-US ties still a 'priority' whoever wins US presidency: US Embassy

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2016 01:55 PM

Philippine and American flags. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA - The "extremely close" relationship between the Philippines and the Unites States is a "priority" that will be "valued" regardless of who wins the US presidential elections, a US diplomat said Wednesday.

"A good relationship with the Philippines is of prime importance... Whoever wins this election, our country will value the ties with the Philippines as it has over all this many decades," US Embassy in Manila Chargé d'Affaires Michael S. Klecheski said.

Ties between long-time allies, Washington and Manila, have been threated as President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the US for treating the Philippines like a "dog on a leash."

Duterte also fired slurs against US President Barack Obama and former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg after both officials criticized his bloody war against illegal drugs.

The US has recently replaced Goldberg with Ambassador-designate Sung Kim, a former special representative for the North Korea Policy, after Duterte said that the Philippines will distance from the US and form closer ties with its regional neighbors instead.

Ambassador-designate Sung Kim is set to take office either by the end of November or by early December, Klecheski said.