FORMER President Fidel Ramos, who has been assigned as special envoy to China, will not join President Rodrigo Duterte in his visit to Beijing next week, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Ramos had informed him last October 8 that he would not join Duterte in China on October 18 to 21.
"When I talked with former President Fidel V. Ramos last Saturday, he said he would not go [with Duterte in China]," Andanar told reporters.
Andanar said that Ramos had not given any reason why he would not join the administration in the forthcoming trip.
He, however, said that Ramos was likely “giving respect” as he does not want to divide the attention of the Chinese government between him and Duterte.
“He did not give the reason why he will not come with us but I believe that it is about giving respect to our current President Rodrigo Duterte because if two presidents (past and incumbent), of course, the attention will be divided,” Andanar said.
Andanar clarified that Ramos remains the country’s special envoy to China.
Ramos' decision to skip the China delegation was revealed in the wake of his recently published newspaper column assessing Duterte's first 100 days.
Ramos, who convinced Duterte to run for president in the May 9 elections, had said that the Philippines is “losing badly” since the current administration assumed the office on June 30.
The former president had also said that Duterte seemed to have a lack of long-term strategic vision for the country and that he is too focused on the war on drugs. (Sunnex)