US: PH gov't doesn't rest on shoulders of one individual

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2016 04:43 PM

US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby made this statement in the wake of Duterte’s fresh tirades against the US over the reported halt in the sale of some 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippines.

“The government isn’t – doesn’t rest – especially in a democracy, it doesn’t rest on the shoulders of just one individual,” Kirby said in a news conference.

“Yes, he’s the head of state, but there are many agencies in his government. There are many cabinet officials. There are longstanding relationships that we have nurtured over the years with figures in his government, and those relationships are still there and they’re still vibrant.”

Kirby, however, clarified that he was “simply referring to the fact that in a democratic government such as the Philippines, tasks are delegated to various agencies and that we have relationships with these institutions and agencies.”

Kirby also said his statement does not mean that the US will circumvent Duterte in dealing with the Philippine government.

Duterte lashed out at the US on Wednesday after learning of reports that the US State Department halted the sale of the rifles to the Philippines due to concerns over the Filipino leader’s bloody war on drugs that has left over 2,000 drug suspects dead.

In railing at the US over the reported decision, Duterte also called the US “monkeys." 

Kirby said Duterte’s tirades are “inexplicably at odds…with the close relationship that we continue to have with not just the Filipino people but the Filipino government.”

Duterte has sought to forge closer ties with China, despite the Philippines’ dispute with its giant Asian neighbor over the West Philippine Sea. 

The tough-talking leader is also angry at Washington’s criticism of his war on drugs, saying the Americans do not understand his campaign.

While on a state visit to China earlier this month, Duterte announced the Philippines' "separation" from the US, its only treaty ally. He also said long-running war games would be scrapped.

Duterte had also protested the alleged intrusion of US authorities in the case of Davao bombing suspect Michael Meiring.

US State Dept. apologizes over travel tip for the less attractive

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 31 2016 04:45 PM

WASHINGTON - The US Department of State issued an apology Wednesday after posting a tweet that seemed to proffer travel advice for those whose looks are less than a perfect 10.

"Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologize that it came off negatively," the Bureau of Consular Affairs posted on its Twitter account, after pulling down the offending message.

US media posted screenshots of the tweet, part of a campaign warning those headed overseas on Spring Break, a week-long vacation when US university students famously tend to party, how to stay out of trouble while abroad.

"Not a '10' in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse--being robbed" the bureau advised on its @TravelGov account.

What was apparently meant as a warning against potential scams initiated by unusual amounts of flattery or alcohol, quickly became the subject of mockery on the Internet.

A spoof Twitter account that appeared in the wake of the post offered its own warnings: "If you're not a '10' in the United States consider whether travel is really going to fill the void inside you."

The Bureau of Consular Affairs said on Twitter it had only been trying to prevent Americans from becoming victims while overseas in the series of tweets, which were hashtagged #springbreakingbadly.

"We see many Americans fall victim to scams each year & want all to be careful while traveling," the bureau tweeted.

Its other posts offered sound advice with a little less lip such as: "Beware of drink spiking and robbery scams when you're traveling abroad."

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