Duterte: All is well between Ramos and me
All is well between President Rodrigo Duterte and former President Fidel Ramos following the latter’s resignation as the administration’s special envoy to China.
Duterte said there was no tension between him and the former president.
“Of course not,” he said on Tuesday night when asked by reporters during his visit to his parents’ tomb at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Davao City.
“I received his (resignation) last night. I had a copy of his resignation,” he said.
The President thanked Ramos for his service to the country.
“I’d like to thank him for helping me and being of service to the nation even at his age,” he said.
While Duterte has his own way of assessing things, he said he would still take Ramos’ advice.
“Second, I take his advice. But you know I have my own way of assessing it,” he said.
“I will still consult with [Ramos] in the future. Yes of course, if he cares to listen. Hindi naman siguro ibig sabihin na nag-resign na siya as a special envoy, hindi na ako makipag tanong sa kanya (Just because he has resigned as special envoy, that can’t mean I can no longer consult him),” he added.
In a Palace briefing on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Ramos’ resignation letter was “civil and respectful.”
Abella quoted parts of Ramos’ letter as saying, “Given that your State Visit to the PROC was officially wide-ranging, which has resulted in renewed bilateral relations between our two countries, kindly allow me to step down as the special envoy of the President to the People’s Republic of China.”
Abella quoted Ramos as saying the former president continued to affirm his full support for the administration despite his resignation.
“We’d like to believe that the efforts of our team, of the special envoy, played a modest but productive role in the breaking of the ice that led to your successful visit. This letter is my resignation as your special envoy to China. But more important, it is also an affirmation of my full support of the national interests of our Team Philippines of 100.5 million Filipinos that you now lead,” Ramos’ letter read.
The Palace official said Duterte and Ramos “continue to have a solid and respectful relationship as we course a new phase in our evolution as a nation and Filipino society.”
On Monday, Ramos said he had resigned as special envoy, a post he accepted only last July.
Ramos’ appointment came in the wake of the July 12 ruling of the United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal in The Hague favoring the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea.
The former President, whom Duterte had acknowledged as the one convincing him to run, has criticized Duterte and his Cabinet in a series of strongly worded opinion pieces in the Manila Bulletin.
Ramos has slammed Duterte’s “separation” and profanity-laden tirades against the United States, including his refusal to accept the Paris climate change pact reached in December 2015. CDG/RAM
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