Cayetano slams Aquino for dodging questions on sea rows with China
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday slammed former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for supposedly dodging “people’s main questions” on his administration’s handling of sea rows with China.
In an open letter addressed to Aquino, Cayetano said it was regrettable that the former President chose to play with words, even comparing their haircuts, as a response to questions he posed earlier.
“While we both lost some of our hair, your administration lost control of Scarborough and a great opportunity to expand tourism, infrastructure, and agriculture,” Cayetano said.
“We also lost many opportunities for cooperation in fields like science and technology, protection of the environment, among others, all because of the approach you, together with former (DFA] Sec. [Albert] Del Rosario and Senator [Antonio] Trillanes, chose to adopt and implement,” he added.
On Tuesday, Cayetano hit back at Aquino who had asked the Duterte administration to be transparent with its dealings with China.
Cayetano turned the table and accused the Aquino administration of not being transparent with its handling of the controversy with China.
The secretary told Aquino to ask Del Rosario if he had been transparent with him.
Cayetano alleged that several people in the previous administration “hijacked” the foreign policy toward China.
Shed light on West PH Sea issues
In the same open letter, Cayetano threw 11 questions at Aquino.
The Foreign Affairs chief said he expects the former Commander in Chief to shed light on issues in the West Philippine Sea and the real role of Trillanes in back-channel talks with China.
Cayetano, a former ally of the Aquino, challenged the former President to answer the questions immediately if transparency is important to him.
“You often reminded our people that we need solutions and not just plain criticism. You are right about it, Cayetano said.
He asked: “May we have your alternatives or proposals instead of merely criticizing the government today?”
Cayetano’s questions for Aquino
INQUIRER.net is publishing the 11 questions as is.
1. How did we lose control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012 during your watch?
2. Who made the decision to end the stand-off by ordering Philippine ships to leave, and on whose advice?
3. Who was in command of the situation? Was it you, or Sec. Del Rosario or Sen. Trillanes?
4. Why didn’t you order the Philippine ships to return to the area when the Chinese ships did not leave as expected?
5. What exactly was Sen. Trillanes role and mandate? He made 16 trips to China as your emissary. Where are the reports and what were the agreements reached?
6. Who did Sen. Trillanes negotiate within the back channel talks? Who else did you authorize for this mission?
7. Sen. Trillanes had refused to reveal the purpose and nature of his trips when asked during a Senate session by then Sen. Enrile. Instead, he walked out and invoked presidential prerogative so he would not be compelled to respond. Since then, nothing has been heard of his secret trips. Why? How can you say it was transparent when the Embassy report was about only on one meeting?
8. We note that there seems to be a denial all around of any negotiated joint withdrawal of both Chinese and Philippine vessels from the shoal. Was there an agreement? Brokered by who?
9. What was the US commitment on the WPS issue, if any? And how was this relayed to you or was this discussed with you directly when you sat down with President Obama at one point in time?
10. What did you discuss with President Obama? He reportedly affirmed to Japan that the mutual defense treaty will be put into action if the Senkaku islands are threatened. Did Mr. Obama tell you that the US does not get involved with territorial disputes like in the WPS? How did you respond to that?
11. What are your plans or proposals for oil and gas exploration in the WPS? Do you agree that oil and gas exploration and development will be very beneficial to all Filipinos? /vvp