Hontiveros to Cayetano: ‘It’s not about resigning, it’s about telling the truth’
“This is not about resigning. It’s simply about telling the truth.”
This was the statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday, after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s has dared to resign should she be able to prove that Cayetano’s “50 to 100 diplomatic actions against China” are fake.
Hontiveros pointed out that the “burden of proving the authenticity” of the so-called 50 to 100 diplomatic actions lies with Cayetano and not with her.
“First, he was the one who bragged before a Congressional hearing that his office undertook 50 to 100 diplomatic actions against China in the last two years. That would be one diplomatic action every week or every other week. If these were even true, Secretary Cayetano would go down in history as the country’s most anti-China foreign affairs secretary,” the Akbayan senator said.
In an earlier Senate hearing, Hontiveros tried to confirm with Cayetano the total number of diplomatic actions the DFA has filed against China.
Cayetano backtracked, saying that they “haven’t counted” the number of protests they have filed against Beijing and that he would only be willing to divulge the details in an executive session.
“I’m simply asking him to tell us the exact number of his diplomatic actions against China, the dates and times they were made, the nature of his so-called protests, the issues that compelled him to take action and the number of times China responded,” Hontiveros said.
“How could these basic information compromise our national security? Secretary Cayetano is probably reading too many spy novels,” she added.
But since Cayetano “likes to issue challenges,” the lady senator said she is also daring him to prove his claims true by opening to the Senate all Department of Foreign Affairs records since he took office and laying out all the details of each and every diplomatic action he took against China.
“Let the Senate interview, under oath, all foreign service personnel who may have knowledge of the diplomatic actions taken or not taken,” she said.
“Secretary Cayetano, this is not about resigning. It’s simply about telling the truth,” she added. /muf
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