By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent
Former President Fidel V. Ramos resigned as the country’s special envoy to China after criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated diatribes against the United States while cozying up to China. In this context, Ramos said he finds Duterte “full of s…t.”
In a television interview, Ramos tried to act statesman-like by saying he resigned simply because he has done his job and that proper officials have taken over. “I’ve done my job… to break the ice and help restore the ties of goodwill and friendship (between the Philippines and China),” he added.
But in his op-ed piece in Manila Bulletin, Ramos indicated that he had had enough of Duterte when the latter topped off his anti-U.S. policy stand with a strong opposition to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Ramos said President Duterte “is unwittingly shooting himself in the mouth, and also all of us 101.5 million Filipinos” for refusing to “move the Paris Agreement forward.” Duterte earlier called the Paris Agreement “stupid and absurd.”
This stand of Duterte alongside “his consistently frequent insulting diatribes against the U.S., the European Union… is obviously wrong, and full of s…. t,” Ramos declared.
It was Ramos who called out Duterte to run for president in 2015 when the latter was saying he did not have the means to do so. This support was properly acknowledged by Duterte who then appointed Ramos as special envoy to China as a reward of sorts.
But while he was the special envoy, Ramos started lambasting Duterte publicly, first making a case against the President’s first 100 days in office as a “huge disappointment and let-down.”
Ramos said under Duterte, the government is “losing badly” by prioritizing the war on drugs at the expense of issues such as poverty, living costs, foreign investment and jobs.
Reports said Duterte actually canceled Ramos’ first trip to China trip after the latter advised the President not to push through with the trip to China if they do not comply with certain conditions.
Instead of heeding Ramos’ advice, sources said, Duterte canceled Ramos’ China trip and personally took control of talks with Chinese officials. A week later, Ramos compared the Philippines under “skipper” Duterte to a leaky and slow-moving ship due to internal strife and disunity.
On another occasion, Ramos urged Duterte to refrain from trying to impress by saying too much. The latest FVR tirade came after Duterte cussed the Paris Agreement which, Ramos said, was like the President “shooting himself in the mouth.”
His fourth and latest shout-out called on Duterte to approve the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and said the President’s diatribes were like “shooting himself in the mouth.”
From the reaction of Malacanang on Ramos’ resignation, it seemed the services of Ramos are still needed. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Ramos still had a role to play in Duterte’s pivot to China.
“We have not received the resignation. Moreover, it is not true that the former president can no longer have any role in our engagement with China,” Andanar said in a statement.
“His stature and expertise are needed now, more than ever, to follow up and build on what President Duterte accomplished during his recent visit to China,” he added.
“If we are saying that we have an independent foreign policy, it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to do business with other countries. This only means that we are not depending on the United States or any other ally to tell us what to do,” Andanar said, reacting to criticism on the loosening of Philippine-U.S. relations.
Andanar’s statement added: “We have an independent foreign policy. This only means that no one interferes and no one even tells us what to do. It is going to be a foreign policy that is made in the Philippines.”