Duterte confirms Ramos resignation as special envoy to China

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that he had received former President Fidel V. Ramos' resignation as the special envoy to China.

During his visit to his parents' grave in Wireless Cemetery, Davao City Tuesday night, Duterte confirmed the resignation of Ramos.

Duterte thanked the former president for his "service to the nation even at his age."

Ramos said he resigned after Duterte arrived from his four-day visit in China and was able to restore the tainted relationship of both countries after the maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

"The moment the President came back from China from a successful state visit, I resigned as special envoy to China because the officials have taken over," Ramos said.

In July, Ramos was appointed by President Duterte to be the special envoy to China on the heels of the historic victory of the Philippines in the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague which favors the Philippines in its maritime claims.

Ramos then accepted the offer and traveled to Hong Kong to meet some Chinese representative for an "ice breaker."

Paris climate pact

Meanwhile, Duterte said he would consider the advice of Ramos on the ratification of Paris agreement on climate change.

The President said he would still consult Ramos' position on ratifying the climate deal, even after the latter resigned as the country's special envoy to China.

"Yes, [I will seek his advice on climate pact] if he cares to listen. Perhaps, it doesn't mean that when he resigned as a special envoy, I could no longer ask him [on what should I do]," he added.

But while he would take the former President's advice regarding the agreement, the President said he still has his "own way of assessing it."

Duterte said he has to scrutinize "very carefully" whether he would sign the climate deal.

He explained that he was merely giving his "misgiving" because the country is in a "stymie."

"I will just see if there is a leeway and elbow room to move because the treaty now that is being signed or passed around for signing is binding," Duterte said.

"The first was non-binding. Now, here, if you are a member, when you say binding, even if you don't like, but if the votes of all [are different from you], you have no edge. When all say [they want it] but you want [to turn it down], so I have to study the matter very carefully."

In his column published by newspaper Manila Bulletin, Ramos said Duterte should approve the Paris agreement and certify it for Senate ratification “to promote our country’s interests and fight for climate change.”

“Ratifying the Paris agreement will allow the Philippines to participate in the global effort to address Climate change and advance the interests of our country and our people, as one of the most vulnerable to climate change,” Ramos said.

“It will also enable us to secure more investments towards our climate goals and gain access to the financial, technological, and capacity-building support to be provided to parties of the agreement,” he added.

Duterte said he would sign the climate pact, should his legal advisers tell him so. (Sunnex)
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