|Composite photos by CNN PH and Modern Tribune|
On the #BenhamRise issue
"The problem again was the framing being suggested:
1) PRRD allowed China to enter and do the study;
2) PRRD did not inform his Defense and Foreign Affairs heads respectively;
3) PRRD was referring to Scarborough and not Benham in his explanations;
4) Duterte should confront China by issuing a strong statement; and
5) Duterte does not know what he is saying.
Foreign policy is made and laid out by the president, not the Defense Secretary or the Foreign Affairs Secretary. Both are mere alter egos of the president, hence recommendatory if ever to the presidential decision making process.
Clearly, the president has the power to make treaties, concurred in by the Senate, and make international agreements. The president is the chief diplomat as head of state. The president influences foreign policy through diplomatic appointments. Was it therefore an excited Defense Secretary who raised a red flag on Chinese boats entering our territory or a Note Verbale, rightly issued by the DFA, that painted out a confused PRRD?
The issue should have been settled when China also came out in clear and unequivocal terms saying, “China fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in the 'Benham Rise' and there is no such thing of China challenging those rights.”
Alas, some wanted to use a different yardstick with the incumbent president, setting aside such facts as:
1) When Senator Antonio Trillanes went to China sixteen times did President Benigno Aquino secure the approval of then DFA Secretary Del Rosario or DND Secretary Gazmin?
2) How about when Aquino agreed with the Chinese to 'mutually withdraw' from Scarborough? 3) How about when Aquino allowed the Chinese to provide funding for undersea explorations by some Filipino corporations at Benham?
4) How about during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos, when he approved seismic surveys to be conducted within the vicinity of Reed Bank by a foreign company? And
5) How about during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Speaker Jose de Venecia, when they embarked on joint underwater survey in portions of our continental shelf? In all these, no approval from SND or SFA were made" (from my column on The Lobbyist to appear in 3 parts, starting 031717)
Ang baba ba nang tingin nyo kay Duterte kaya ginagawa nyong water boy siya ni SND at SFA? E sino bang nag isip ng opensiba natin sa foreign affairs? At sino ang nag-isip ng independent foreign policy natin ngayon?
Source: Malou Tiquia
Asia's political expert explains Benham Rise issue: You MUST READ this! Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Friday, March 17, 2017 Rating: