Santiago wonders how Enrile got ‘Brady notes’By Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – The “Brady notes” exposed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile should have been kept private for the sake of the country’s foreign relations, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said on Monday.
Santiago said the alleged notes taken by Philippines Ambassador to China Sonia Brady during her private conversation with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were “private” and are “only for the eyes of the Foreign Affairs Secretary.”
“They are always confidential. They are only written for the eyes of the secretary of foreign affairs [and] through his discretion, report them to the president or not. But in any event, the public is not supposed to know about these notes,” Santiago told reporters in an interview.
It was Brady’s duty to take notes of every meeting with public officials of the Philippines or China and report them later to Secretary Albert del Rosario, she said.
“The question is, why did the senate president obtain a copy of that report which is not meant for him and how did he manage to do that? That must never be revealed!,” Santiago said.
“We must never tell our antagonist or the other country which is having a difference with us on any matter of foreign policy, what we are doing or what our real sentiments are or what our real goals are,” she added.
When asked what the implications of the disclosure were, Santiago said that the Chinese “are enjoying the show,” referring to the infighting within the government, and that they are “plotting to maximize it.”
She said that everybody should refrain from making further statements that would inflame the situation. “The best procedure when there is a case of extreme urgency or confusion is everybody should zip their mouths. Nobody should talk.”
Enrile first exposed the purported “Brady notes” after Trillanes accused him of railroading the passage of a bill dividing the province of Camarines Sur.
The notes allegedly detailed certain points about Trillanes’ backchannel negotiations with Chinese officials to ease tensions in the West Philippines Sea caused by territorial disputes.
Trillanes slammed Enrile for exposing the notes saying he “brazenly exposed state secrets just to spite me.”
He also questioned the validity of the notes, saying that Brady was not present in any of the backchannel talks.