We defended what is ours, insists Del Rosario
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday took exception to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s claim that the Aquino administration had “mismanaged” its handling of the country’s territorial row with China over portions of the South China Sea.
In a statement, Del Rosario disputed Lorenzana’s remarks that the foreign policy implemented by former President Benigno Aquino III during his term only resulted in “chaos.”
“In dealing with this powerful nation (China), we were being asked to acquiesce, but we did not. If this is being deemed as chaos, so be it,” he said.
“At every opportunity, no matter what the odds, we spoke to defend what is ours … We had garnered the support of many countries, which we presumed would have continued their support when we had won our case,” he added.
Del Rosario insisted that under the Aquino administration, the government “defended what is ours by resorting to political and diplomatic means while utilizing both bilateral and multilateral approaches to seek a peaceful resolution.”
“That government did everything possible, which, as a last resort, included bringing our dispute to the … arbitral tribunal at The Hague, resulting in an overwhelming victory for the Filipino people,” the former foreign secretary said.
“Another government, after being awarded this invaluable victory, immediately announced the shelving of this most important outcome, thus avoiding for itself the task of managing what had been handed down,” he added.
He surmised that Lorenzana, whom he described as “a very close friend,” was only being used in the government’s propaganda campaign because “he has the reputation of being straight as an arrow.”
“We believe that Lorenzana is a very good man with the highest credibility in the Cabinet … I also wish to add that he is considered by all people to be a patriot and to be objective at all times, and we hope that this sentiment will continue to be merited by him,” he said. —MARLON RAMOS
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