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US Embassy: Nikki Haley never made quote about giving Duterte ‘space to run his nation’

The US Embassy in Manila on Sunday dismissed reports that one of the top officials of the United States said President Rodrigo R. Duterte should be allowed "space to run his nation."

In a message to reporters, Molly Koscina, Press Attache of the US Embassy in the Philippines, dismissed such reports quoting US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

"Please reference the web site for questions on her remarks. There has been reporting recently incorrectly quoting a speech that was never made," Koscina said in the text message.

This comes after an opinion piece was published in the Manila Times on September 23, 2017, with the title "Superstar speaks: Give Duterte space to run the Philippines."

In his piece, Yen Makabenta quoted Haley as saying: "The Philippines is suffocating. We must give President Duterte the space to run his nation. We must respect their independence... It is not in our purview to decide administrative issues for the Philippines..."

A check on the official website of the United States Mission to the United Nations, however, yielded no results on such statements.

Based on the website, the latest remarks delivered by Haley were regarding an explanation of a vote following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2379 on Accountability for ISIS Atrocities which was done on September 21, 2017.

There have been no clarifications or editors' notes made on the opinion piece posted on the Manila Times as of posting time.

A similar report to that being claimed by Makabenta has been circulating online and has been shared mainly by supporters of the President, with a source claiming to be Al Jazeera.

The host website, however, was found to be, a fake news website, and not related to the legitimate news website

"Just to clarify... to those who keep falling for fake news - this is a fake aljazeera website. The correct one is," Al Jazeera Philippine Correspondent Jamela Aisha Alindogan said in a post on her Facebook account.

"I ask you please to be careful when sharing stuff online. Trolls are working overtime. Their intention is to discredit journalists and to fool the public," she said. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News