Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade scoffed at the exposé of outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg that he and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano went on an ‘unpublicized’ trip to China last June.
Tugade said that the exposé was merely gossip – and anyone who thinks it was factual can check his passport and see that he had not gone to China in June. He did go to China as part of the delegation in the state visit of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte but that trip happened in October, not June.
In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s Headstart, Goldberg said he wasn’t surprised Duterte bagged $24 billion worth of deals from China as “Chinese ambassador and others in the Chinese business community were visiting President-elect Duterte quite often in the month of June.”
Goldberg also candidly revealed the ‘exposé’, “I also know, and I don’t think this has been revealed publicly, but I know that Senator Cayetano, President Duterte’s running mate, made an unpublicized trip to China in June along with Secretary Tugade, and so all of this was actually in train, I think, and so there were already discussions going on.”
But is this a case of US intelligence failure? While it was implied that there were backdoor negotiations, Tugade said in a statement, “If it is true that Ambassador Goldberg said that, then the fabled American ‘intelligence network’ has miserably failed again. Tsismis yan (That’s gossip)! Was never in Beijing in June! You can always examine my passport anytime.”
Here’s what Mocha Uson has to say about the matter…