Tag Archives: kurt hoyer






US President Barack Obama has censured an American envoy stationed in the Philippines who gave out a statement that appeared to carry tones of American meddling in the forthcoming 2016 Philippine elections.

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Obama, reports emanating from Washington say, reportedly had summoned Kurt Hoyer to the White House to explain his statement about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte adding color to the Philippine presidential race next year.

Obama also reportedly lectured Hoyer on American policy against commenting on elections in foreign countries.

Hoyer, the First Secretary and Press Attaché of the US Embassy in the Philippines based in Manila, dished out the statement in Davao City on May 11 during a forum as part of the local celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, organized with the participation of the US embassy.

Obama apparently got wind of a report in the Davao City-based news site Durian Post which reported on Hoyer’s statement.

h0yer kutAlthough Hoyer told media in a forum that American embassy officials are estopped from commenting on local elections, his statement about Duterte’s entry in the presidential derby being ‘colorful’ may have given vague hints about US support for his presidential bid.

Obama reportedly shared this fear, and told Hoyer to keep his mouth shut when it comes to the Philippine election and Duterte.

Duterte, however, has not yet declared he is running for President.

Duterte has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the presidency, landing third in recent surveys on presidential preference behind Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe.



But on the side, Obama, even as he censured Hoyer, according to the unconfirmed reports, reportedly appeared to be a Duterte fan.

I read he is the Philippine version of Rudy Giuliani, Obama, who could have read a piece written by Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Mon Tulfo that compared the legendary New York City Mayor to Duterte,  reportedly told Hoyer.

Hoyer was said to have also told Obama that Duterte, known in the past for his anti-American statements, may have a change of heart about the US.

He reportedly told about a report quoting Duterte that if he becomes the President he would lease out Palawan to the US where American troops and warships could be based to tame down China’s incursion into Philippine-claimed islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

The US has warned it would increase presence of its maritime forces in the South China Sea if China continues with its expansionism in the contested area.

Duterte’s statement about American presence in the Philippines if he becomes the President carries pregnant hints about the possibility of the return to the country of US bases, which were closed down in 1992.

A source in Davao City said he heard of the Obama meeting with Hoyer from some members of the American Business Chamber chapter in the city.

Davao City has a large number of Americans, many of them permanently based for business.

The source who begged anonymity said a White House official reportedly called up an American businessman based in Davao City to provide Obama with a dossier on Duterte.

The source refused to speculate on Obama’s interest on Duterte but said it could have something to do with the coming presidential election and Duterte’s bid to capture Malacanang.

But he said that Obama was elated particularly by the erstwhile anti-American mayor’s recent  “friendly comments” about the US and that he would allow US bases in the Philippines if he is elected President. ROGER M. BALANZA


US envoy excited by Duterte for President


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte may not exactly be friendly with the United States but an American official expressed excitement over Duterte’s possible entry into the presidential race in 2016.

     It would be colorful, said Kurt Hoyer, First Secretary and Press Attaché of the US Embassy in the Philippines.

     Duterte has emerged as a potential candidate for the presidency after landing third, after Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe, in the latest survey for presidential preference by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.

 I think that would be a very colorful race, said Hoyer on Tuesday in Davao City where he attended an exhibit and a forum on press freedom.

But Hoyer did not go beyond saying that Duterte would bring color to the race to Malacanang.

He said American diplomatic officials in the Philippines are prohibited from making political comments lest they be accused of political interference.

  Election is a matter for Filipinos to decide and not for us to get involved in, he said.

Hoyer’s colorful projection of a Duterte presidential run albeit non-political is the first commentary by an American official on the Davao City mayor who in the past minced  no words in attacking the US establishment, its personnel and policies.

           Years ago, Duterte warned he would shoot agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who would set foot in Davao City.

     This after FBI agents ferreted out of a local hospital Michael Terence Meiring, an American national, who lost his legs in a bomb explosion inside his hotel room in Davao City.

Meiring, who claimed to be a treasure hunter, reportedly was an agent of the FBI.

Duterte said Meiring should have answered for the damage he caused in the hotel. He also said Meiring could be behind the series of “US-inspired” bombings in Mindanao.

Meiring, 67, was hurriedly whisked out of the hospital by the FBI agents without knowledge or permission of authorities, and spirited out of the country on a chartered plane.
The May 16, 2002 hotel blast, and the undue import given by US authorities to Meiring then sparked speculation he was part of a network of US spies faking terror in the Philippines.
The blast at the Evergreen Hotel along Uyanguren Street. came at a time while a wave of terror was rocking the country in sporadic bombings, mostly in Mindanao, that killed scores of locals.

Duterte has also been a constant critic of the Balikatan, the annual joint military training of American and Filipino troopers and opposed holding of the military exercise in Davao City.

Last year, he also spurned request by the United States to use the old Davao International Airport as base of its drone operation in Mindanao.

           Duterte, however, has been kinder in words to the US recently as the Philippines is locked in territorial dispute with China over islands in the West Philippine Sea.

     In Palawan during a recent edition of his Listening Tour, a series of speaking engagements and forums on Federalism, Duterte said that if he is the President, he would lease part of Palawan to the Americans where the US could build a base to help neutralize the Chinese invasion into Philippine territory.