Former President: Transparency, not secrecy, was our hallmark | Inquirer News
Benigno Aquino III answers DFA Secretary Cayetano

Former President: Transparency, not secrecy, was our hallmark

/ 10:51 PM August 01, 2018

Transparency, not secrecy, was the hallmark of the Aquino administration

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Former President Benigno Aquino III himself stressed this on Wednesday in reaction to the accusation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that his predecessor, Albert del Rosario, kept secrets in dealing with China on issues concerning the West Philippine Sea.

“Transparency is the hallmark of our administration,” Aquino told reporters on Wednesday at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque where he and his relatives commemorated the ninth death anniversary of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

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“Wala tayong tinago. May records na kinuha din ng ating embassy sa Beijing. ‘Di ko alam kung saan nanggagaling na kulang ‘yung transparency natin dito,” Aquino said.

[We hid nothing. There were records that were taken by our embassy in Beijing. I don’t know where he got this idea that we lacked transparency.]

“’Yung pagpunta po ba sa arbitral tribunal [the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague] ay sikreto rin? At ginawa ‘yung pagdinig ng closed session? Lahat ng parties na interesado hinayaan natin at pinayagan na nandoon at nakikinig sa pagdinig. Alin po ang kulang sa transparency doon?” he added.

[Was our going to the arbitral tribunal secret? And was the hearing done in a closed session? We allowed all the interested parties to be there and attend the hearing. Where did we lack transparency there?]

Aquino went on to berate Cayetano and reminded him to be transparent with his own politics.

“Naalala ko lang na pareho halos ang hairstyle namin ni Alan Peter. Pareho kami transparent sa aming hairstyle. Siguro sa ating politics maging kasing transparent sana. ‘Di ko siya nilalait. Aminado akong makapal buhok niya sa akin,” the former president said.

[I remember that Alan Peter and I once sported almost identidal hairstyle. Our hairstyles were both transparent. I hope we can say the same of our politics. I‘m not insulting him. I admit that his hair is thicker than mine.]

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Aquino also slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for saying that the framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea was already being discussed.

In his third State of the Nation Address, the President said the country’s participation in the ASEAN-China dialogue resulted in the draft framework for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, which would try to resolve the dispute by peaceful means.

But Aquino noted that he had not heard of any COC being discussed by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“Baka naman kulang ako sa pagbabasa ng ating mga pahayagan araw-araw. Pero di ko nakita pinag-uusapan ang COC na 2002 pa na inaasam magkaroon,” Aquino said.

[Maybe I haven’t spent much time reading newspapers every day. But I have not seen any reports of any discussion about the COC, which we’ve been hoping for since 2002.] /atm

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Albert del Rosario, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, China-Philippines relations, maritime dispute, Noynoy Aquino, PCA, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Rodrigo Duterte, South China sea, West Philippine Sea
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