The US government welcomes the admission of a former National Bureau of Investigation official that he was the source of the audiotape allegedly proving that President Arroyo cheated in the last elections.
Samuel Ong, former NBI deputy director, said on Friday that he was the source of the audiotape and that he possess the master tapes, which would prove that cheating occured in the last elections.
US embassy charge d'affaires Joseph Mussomeli on Saturday expressed relief that Ong finally came out. He said the US will no longer be worried that it would continue to be dragged into the audiotape scandal.
"We're delighted that no one would think anymore that the US government (was behind the tape). That's a good thing," Mussomeli told ABS-CBN TV Patrol World.
Early reports about the existence of the audiotape pointed to the US as the alleged source of the leak. The audiotape contained the alleged conversation of President Arroyo and election officer Virgilio Garcillano discussing a plan on how to insure that the former would win by a margin of one million votes over the late Fernando Poe Jr.
The US embassy in Manila was quick to deny the allegation.
But Ong's admission last Friday further strengthened the US embassy's claim that their government was not involved.
US embassy officials also reaffirmed on Friday their government's "unequivocal" support for the administration of Mrs. Arroyo despite widening calls for her resignation.
"We are not concerned that this administration is at risk," Mussomeli told ANC.
He said US government would oppose "any extra-constitutional or extra-legal efforts to any way undermine" Mrs. Arroyo.
Mussomeli said the US embassy had known about the alleged recordings as early as April, but "we didn't take it that seriously."
"We want to take it seriously, we just don't think it's credible," he said.
He said the US embassy had not issued any alerts for its citizens in the Philippines and the consulate is not taking "any special precautions" in terms of security.
"We believe this has really grown out of proportion from what we know. Just as accurately, this is very serious because it distracts people from the real problems that we should be dealing with," the diplomat said.