Is US Embassy spying on PH officials, Goldberg asked

A RECENT rally in front of the US Embassy calling for the ouster of American troops in the Philippines. A placard tags US President Barack Obama as the "No.1 Terrorist." AFP PHOTO

SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said he asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to “complain and protest the actions” of United States (US) ambassador Philip Goldberg.

”I’m writing a letter to (DFA) Secretary (Perfecto) Yasay, I informed him yesterday to complain and to protest the actions of Ambassador Goldberg,” Cayetano said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

Few days after President Rodrigo Duterte arrived last Friday from his state visit to China, Goldberg reportedly said Cayetano along with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade made ‘unpublicized’ trips to China last June.

Tugade denied Goldberg’s claim but Cayetano admitted that he travelled to China on his own initiative.

”There is nothing fishy or suspicious about all these trips. I’m not in the executive branch to get permit from the government. I will make report to the Senate at the right time,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano asked Goldberg if the US embassy is spying on the government officials.

”Is this an admission now they are spying on us, on a Cabinet member and a member of the Senate? Was there anything wrong, malicious of me going to anywhere, to China?,” the senator asked.

In defense of Tugade, Cayetano said the US ambassador has no right to say whether a Cabinet official is doing publicized or unpublicized foreign trips.

”Is the US ambassador engaged in rumor mongering or in false information because Sec. Tugade did not know. He had a lot of invitation. A DOTr secretary is invited by many countries including China and Japan,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano said Goldberg made a mistake during the last election campaigns when the US envoy met all the presidential candidates except for Duterte.

”He met all the candidates and reported to the US but was not able to meet Mayor Duterte because he kept on changing his schedules and making hard for the meeting. So that was his mistake,” Cayetano said. (PNA)