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Split with US unwise, tragedy that shouldn’t happen–ex-DFA chief

/ 06:39 PM October 21, 2016
Albert del rosario

Former secretary for foreign affairs Albert del Rosario (AP)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement of separating from the United States is unwise and is a national tragedy that should not happen, former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Friday.

“What is unfolding before us must be considered a national tragedy which does not need to happen.  It is our earnest hope that this most unfortunate declaration will be corrected,” Del Rosario said in his strongest statement yet on Duterte’s pivot to China.

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Del Rosario issued the statement after Mr. Duterte announced this in Beijing: “With that, in this venue, your honors, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military … not in social … both in military and economics.”

READ: Duterte announces military, economic split with US

Del Rosario joined many sectors alarmed by the President’s statements.

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“The declared shift in foreign policy casting aside a longtime reliable ally to hastily embrace an aggressive neighbor that vehemently rejects international law is both unwise and incomprehensible,” Del Rosario said.

“We must be with responsible nations with whom we share our core values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. To stand otherwise, is not what Filipinos are; it is not what we do; it is not what is right,” Del Rosario added.

READ: Senators caution Duterte on implications of PH-US split

Del Rosario was the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from 2011 to 2016 under the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino III, and served as Philippine ambassador to the US in 2001 to 2006.

Del Rosario led the Philippine delegation which appeared before the United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague last year for oral arguments on the Philippine case against China over the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines unanimously won the case.

READ: Philippines wins arbitration case vs China over South China Sea

In a recent speech, Del Rosario noted the “lack of clarity” from the Duterte administration on the President’s statements about wanting an “independent foreign policy.”

“To be principled and independent, our foreign policy must be rooted in our core value as a nation. A principled and independent foreign policy must therefore be anchored on democracy, freedom, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law,” Del Rosario said./rga

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TAGS: China, Department of Foreign Affairs, PH split with US, Rodrigo Duterte, South China Sea, US, US-Philippine ties
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