Former President Fidel V. Ramos has played an “invaluable” contribution to restoring the country’s friendly relations with China and would still be needed “now more than ever” to further improve such ties, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar highlighted the importance of Ramos in the country’s engagement with China after the former president resigned as the country’s special envoy to China.
The resignation letter of Ramos was reportedly sent to the Office of the Executive Secretary but President Duterte has yet to act on the matter.
“PFVR’s presence is invaluable. PFVR was appointed by PRRD as Special Envoy precisely because of his stature, credibility as our elderly statesman and his ability to break the ice with the Chinese Government,” Andanar said in a text message.
“PFVR was instrumental in the softening of ties between our government and the PROC, which led to the very successful recent State Visit of PRRD in Beijing,” he added.
Andanar asserted that Ramos could still play a crucial role in the Duterte government’s talks with China. “His stature and expertise are needed now, more than ever, to follow up and bike on what President Duterte accomplished during his recent visit to China,” he said.
Ramos earlier said he resigned as special envoy to China shortly after President Duterte returned from his successful state visit to Beijing. He said he has done his job to “break the ice and to help restore the ties of goodwill and friendship.”
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said it was up to the President to make a decision on Ramos’ resignation as special envoy to China.
“According to FVR the letter has been submitted to the office of the Executive Secretary, but it will be up to PRRD, whether to accept it or not,” Abella said in another text message.
The President recently brought home $24 billion worth of funding and investment pledges from his four-day visit to China.
After Duterte’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has also allowed Filipino fishermen to venture back to the contested Panatag Shoal in a latest sign of improving ties between the two countries locked in a territorial dispute. (GENALYN KABILING)