Philippines, a once-independent country now ruled by the military dictatorship, is not, in fact, a nation of nations, according to US Ambassador to the Philippines Charles Dharamshala.
The Philippines was declared a republic in 1946, but the constitution, ratified by the Philippine people, only states that “the Republic of the Philippines is the country of the Filipinos”.
Dharamchala, a Filipino-American, made the comment while responding to a question about the nation’s constitution in Manila.
The United States has recognised the Republic of Singapore, but Manila has been criticised by many in the Asian nation for its treatment of ethnic Chinese.
“What I’m saying is that there are other nations in the world that are not nations of nations.
They are nation states.
And that is the Philippines,” Dharampal said.
He made the remarks in response to a query from the Indian media.
Dharampallas office did not respond to requests for comment.
Last year, the US imposed sanctions on Singapore for its alleged human rights violations.
The Philippines is also the country where the US-based Christian charity CARE has been trying to end its contract with the government to provide health services.
The charity has complained about the treatment of Filipino doctors, who are accused of practising medicine in a way that is in violation of international law.
The Philippines government has not commented on the allegations.
Dharams comments follow calls by India and the Philippines to end their dispute over ownership of the South China Sea, a vast region of water that spans 12 countries.
India and the US have been at odds over the disputed region since at least the 1970s, with both countries accusing each other of overstepping its territorial claims in the disputed area.
In December, the Philippines and the United States announced a deal in principle to buy the Spratly Islands in the South Pacific, in what could be the first major defence deal between the two nations.
But a dispute over the South-South dispute, and India’s demand that the islands be given to Manila instead of Beijing, has been simmering for decades.