Senators should stop bickering over China talks: lawmaker-A A +A
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
THE chairman of the House committee on foreign affairs on Tuesday asked Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to stop bickering over the latter's role as backchannel negotiator with China.
"It's proper for the sake of our country (that they should observe a ceasefire). The international community is talking about this fiasco. It's embarrassing," said Albay Representative Al Francis Bichara, the panel's chairman.
Last week, the Senate chief disclosed Ambassador Sonia Brady's notes, which supposedly contained Trillanes' discussions with China over the disputed Panatag (Scarbourough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The Brady notes were read by Enrile after Trillanes, in a privilege speech, accused him of railroading a measure that would divide the province of Camarines Sur into two.
In a press statement Monday, Trillanes claimed Enrile made monumental blunders in exposing the so-called Brady notes, saying Brady was never present in any of the backchannel talks conducted with China.
"Second, JPE (Enrile) brazenly exposed state secrets just to spite me and it eventually blew up on his face. Lastly, he unwittingly pointed to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) as the only possible source of those classified documents," Trillanes added.
Bichara, meanwhile, asked Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario not to quit his post following reports that he is considering resigning out of demoralization.
"He should stay. He is a decent professional diplomat and a valuable asset of our government," Bichara said.
Del Rosario said in a letter sent to Malacañang on Tuesday that he is not quitting his post and will continue to serve in the DFA.
In a statement tweeted by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Raul Hernandez, Del Rosario said: "As Secretary of Foreign Affairs, I have sworn to faithfully serve the country. I remain true to my commitment."
President Benigno Aquino III earlier sent Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas as his special envoy to China wherein he talked to Chinese Vice President Xi Jingping to find a peaceful solution over the two countries' territorial dispute. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)