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9月29日のまにら新聞から

‘Don’t get one friend at the expense of another’: former DFA secretary del Rosario

[ 651 words|2016.9.29|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy should not be a "zero-sum game" as this should be driven by democratic values and the rule of law, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Wednesday.

In a forum in Makati City, Del Rosario said some members of the diplomatic corps have asked him "why the Philippines is distancing from its treaty ally (the United States) who has worked on promoting the rule of law which is to the advantage of the Philippines vis-a-vis why is the Philippines suddenly embracing a country that has been blatantly violating the rule of law to its disadvantage?"

The Philippines has been embroiled in a territorial dispute with China. Despite the ruling of an international tribunal favoring Manila and invalidating Beijing's nine-dash line in the South China Sea, China refused to honor the award.

The country's arbitration case was filed before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)during the Aquino administration when Del Rosario was the foreign affairs chief.

Del Rosario said his answer to the question was, "I think that the foreign policy of equating US vis a vis China should not be a zero-sum game."

Zero-sum is a situation in game theory in which one person's gain is equivalent to another's loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero.

"In foreign affairs, you try to get as many friends as possible. You do not get one friend at the expense of another," Del Rosario said.

In his recent pronouncements, Duterte indicated he was apparently severing ties with the US while saying his government is open for an alliance with China.

"I'd like to think that the foreign relations and foreign affairs strategy may have been driven off track a bit and perhaps we can persuade this government to revisit the off track direction that is driving the so-called new foreign policy," Del Rosario told the businessmen in the event.

He said the Philippine foreign policy must be principled, independent and in accordance with the rule of law.

"What do we mean by principled? It must be anchored on democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, good governance and the rule of law," he said.

He also said national interest must be defined and promoted "in accordance with our values, such that we stand up for what is right and we defend what is ours."

The Aquino administration was able to do this peacefully and in accordance with the rule of law, he said.

The Duterte administration has said it wanted to have a "soft landing" with China in as far as the PCA award is concerned.

Del Rosario warned of the possible negative effect on the economy of the Duterte administration's foreign policy.

"We must revisit this because what we were here to speak about, the economy, but I think it's been demonstrated that we can't do this on our own. We need to have friends...in this village of nations that we belong to," he said.

"I'm saying that has anyone in government sat down to calculate the probable loss of economic benefits if we pursue the foreign policy that we are now pursuing in name of independent foreign policy?"

In the last three years alone, the former top diplomat noted that the Philippine overseas development assistance was over $4 billion.

"We will lose that. We had four military finance from the US of $140 in 2016. These had conditionalities. Respect for human rights is one conditionality. We will lose that," he said.

He also said that the Philippines could also lose its Generalized Scheme of Preference for its trade with the US and even the European Union.

Duterte earlier also slammed EU after it raised concern on the alleged extrajudicial killings of individuals allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

Del Rosario said the Philippines has already gained confidence from the international community.

"An immense amount of confidence. Let's not lose it," he stressed. Celerina Monte/DMS