Kenney keeps mum on Wikileaks controversy


FORMER US Ambassador to the Philippines Kirstie Kenney refused to comment on the secret cable message on then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III whom she allegedly referred to as “diffident” and “unassertive.”

Kenney, who is now the US envoy to Thailand, told that she cannot make any statement on the unflattering cable messages released by anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.  The US envoy, who left Manila last year after her four-year term, said it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for her to say anything at this point.

“The US doesn’t, as a matter of policy, comment on alleged cables that may have been leaked,” Kenney said.

“I’m now the US Ambassador to Thailand, and I defer to the current US Ambassador to the Philippines to respond to press issues there,” she added. tried to get a comment from current US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. but didn’t get a reply as of posting time.

Based on the information released by Wikileaks, Kenney was unimpressed by Aquino and doubted if he could lead the country well.

“Previous contacts with Senator Aquino, often accompanying his mother… left the impression of a diffident, unassertive man continuing a political tradition handed on by his parents but not carving his own legacy,”Kenney allegedly said after the son of the late democracy icon and former president Corazon Aquino called on the US envoy at her home in January 2010.

Kenney allegedly added: “Unlike other major presidential candidates… Aquino was vague on specific policies he would pursue if he won office.”

Malacanang cried fowl over the leaked cable messages and described Kenney as having been “co-opted by by the Arroyo regime.” Kenney served as US envoy to the country during the last four years of Aquino’s predecessor President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Aquino warned that if the Wikileaks information were true, then Washington should reassess the capability of its diplomats in gathering and interpreting information.

“If the cables are true, maybe they should assess their capability to gather and assess information so they can make the right decisions,” he said on Monday.

Kenney was one of the most popular foreign diplomats in recent memory. Aside from attending various social fubctions, she has made several local television appearances and has endeared herself to Filipinos via her blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.