Sen. Bob Menendez questions PH Ambassador Romualdez at Trump hotel in DC
WASHINGTON DC — A ranking member of the Senate foreign relations committee is questioning Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and the Philippine government’s transactions with the Trump organization.
After sending this letter to the Trump organization, Democratic US Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, also sent letters to 5 embassies who had recent transactions with the Trump International Hotel, including the Philippines.
The Senator wants to know the cost of the Philippine Independence Day reception hosted by the Philippine embassy on June 12, as well as the Philippine embassy’s contacts with Trump tower officials.
Menendez also wants to know if any U.S. government officials or employees of the Trump organization encouraged the Philippine embassy to hold the event at the Trump hotel.
In an email to ABS-CBN News, Romualdez doubles down and deemed it fit to hold the celebration at the famed Trump hotel.
While the ambassador did not directly state the actual cost of the reception at the Trump hotel, he previously said it did not cost the Philippine government much.
The Philippine embassy says it will continue to deepen its ties with the US, and said that as a foreign mission, the embassy does not get involved in the domestic issues of the host country.
An attendee to the independence reception had this reaction.
Meanwhile, Democratic member of Maryland House of Delegates, Kris Valderrama says, she has attended the Philippine independence reception annually but not this time.
She is running for re-election in the primary on June 26, and possibly in the midterm election on November 6.
“I was bummed out that I could not attend, because of this campaign that is taking place, when
I first saw the invitation I was shocked at where the venue was and simply because this administration I feel encourages intolerance and discrimination.”
In response to Menendez’s letter, the Trump organization said “it strongly disagrees” with the New Jersey senator “that the payments received by the Trump Organization constitute emoluments as that term is used in the US constitution.”
The response letter also stated that the president has no involvement in managing the Trump organization.
The White House deferred ABS-CBN’s request for comment to the Trump organization.