Press Release
October 23, 2016

Bam reiterates call for probe on foreign policy direction

A senator reiterated his call to investigate the country's foreign policy direction, underscoring the need for clarification following President Duterte's recent pronouncement regarding ties with the United States and China.

Last Sept. 19, 2016, Sen. Bam Aquino filed Senate Resolution No. 158, urging the government to clarify the country's stand on different foreign policy issues, such as joint maritime patrols and the stationed American troops in Mindanao.

"I think many of us agree that we have to clarify our official position as soon as possible. We hope they schedule the hearing soon," said Sen. Bam, referring to the latest declaration by President Duterte during his China trip.

"It's time we get into the details of our independent foreign policy and how this affects are current int'l agreements, as well as our economy and the lives of the Filipino people here and abroad," he added.

Sen. Bam earlier said that Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, expressed willingness to conduct a hearing on the matter. However, no date has been set.

Aside from Sen. Bam, three other senators backed the resolution, including Sens. Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan and Leila de Lima.

In a joint statement, the four senators expressed support behind Duterte's push for an independent foreign policy but stressed that it must protect and champion the interest of the Filipino people.

"One that is not pro-American and not pro-China but pro-Filipino, ensuring that the conventions and agreements we sign will benefit Filipino citizens," the senators said.

According to the four senators, the hearing should reveal the terms of the 13 agreements and memoranda of understanding, including the reported $6 billion in soft loans, $3 billion in credit facilities through private Chinese banks, and the Joint Coastal Guard Committee on Maritime Cooperation in disputed waters, signed during the President's state visit to China.

The lawmakers also want the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Trade and Investments to "explain the ramifications of the President's latest foreign policy pronouncements on Filipinos living here and abroad".

"The Filipino people deserve to know what the official position of the administration is and how these affect the lives of our countrymen residing in all corners of the globe," the lawmakers said.

During a speech in Beijing, President Duterte announced his military and economic "separation" from the United States.

However, upon his return from Beijing, Duterte clarified that the "separation" he mentioned was merely "separation of a foreign policy" and not severance of ties.

News Latest News Feed