Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario expressed his thoughts with regard to the foreign policy of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Del Rosario said that Duterte’s policy direction is “unfortunate.” He defended that the government should do its best to achieve a foreign policy that is not only in accordance with the rule of law but also principled and independent.
He added that such policy needs to be revisited so the Philippines would not face risks of losing the confidence of our allies and friends who have all contributed to the development of our country.
“We need to revisit the off track direction that is driving the new so-called independent foreign policy,” he said.
He also emphasized that Philippines spin around to China at the expense of the US and European Union is not a good idea and may not work.
It can be recalled that it was under Del Rosario leadership when the Philippines filed a case and won against won against China before the international arbitration court. The case was with regard to China’s nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
“I think this foreign policy of equating US vis-a-vis China should not be a zero-sum game,” Del Rosario said. “In foreign affairs, you try to get as many friends as possible. You don’t get one friend at the expense of another friend. Playing a zero-sum game is illogical and we should get away from this.”
ADR Institute president Dindo Manhit further added that the Duterte administration should be careful in terms of “alienating established economic and security partners… and creating an unwelcoming environment for foreign investors.”
He said that the country should continue its good relations with other countries, especially those that have been our friends as an unwelcoming environment can put the country in jeopardy and could dampen economic relationships the country has.