Press Release
September 16, 2016

Bam urges gov't to clarify foreign policy direction

A senator wants the government to clarify the foreign policy direction that it plans to take, given the variety of statements issued by President Duterte and other administration officials.

Sen. Bam Aquino said he will file a resolution to clarify the matter so that national interest will not be compromised.

"Kailangan natin malaman kung ano ba talaga ang foreign policy ng administrasyon, particularly with regard to the US," said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam saw this need for clarification after President Duterte reportedly said in a speech before newly appointed civil servants last September 12, that American troops must leave Mindanao.

On the contrary, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella maintained President Duterte's statement was not official policy and that American troops will remain in Mindanao.

On September 13, President Duterte also announced that the Philippines would no longer engage in joint maritime patrols with the US in order to avoid hostilities.

But in September 15, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay was reported to say that the joint patrols with the US will continue, "because this is our commitment to the United States."

In addition, President Duterte reportedly mentioned that the Philippines is considering the procurement of military equipment from Russia and China.

But Abella later cleared this up when he said that the government would continue to honor its present agreements with the United States.

"Given recent conflicting statements from the President and government representatives, there is a need to clarify government's approach to foreign relations and ensure a clear and coherent foreign policy towards ensuring our national interest," Sen. Bam said.

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