Ex-pres­i­dent re­signs as Duterte’s China en­voy

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MANILA: For­mer Philip­pine leader Fidel Ramos ( pix) has re­signed as spe­cial en­voy to China af­ter crit­i­cis­ing Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s tirades against the United States and deadly war on crime.

Duterte said late on Tues­day he had re­ceived a res­ig­na­tion let­ter from Ramos, an el­derly stal­wart of Philip­pine politics who had been a trusted ally of the new leader but re­cently branded his rule as a “huge dis­ap­point­ment and let-down”.

Ac­cord­ing to the pres­i­dent, the pair had dis­agreed on US re­la­tions and the do­mes­tic crime war, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives in four months.

“I know he is pro-Western. He is a mil­i­tary man who stud­ied there (in the US). You must re­mem­ber Ramos finished his (stud­ies) in West Point. He re­ally does not want to fight (with the US),” Duterte told re­porters.

Duterte ap­pointed Ramos, pres­i­dent from 1992 to 1998, as his en­voy to mend re­la­tions with Bei­jing, which had soured un­der the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion over com­pet­ing ter­ri­to­rial claims to the South China Sea.

Ramos, 88, trav­elled to Hong Kong in Au­gust on an “ice­breaker” trip to meet with se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cials.

But Ramos did not join Duterte in Bei­jing last month for a state visit that ce­mented bet­ter ties.

Ramos told GMA7 tele­vi­sion this week he had re­signed be­cause he had done what was needed to im­prove ties with China.

But Duterte’s com­ments pointed to a much deeper fall­ing out with Ramos, who he had re­peat­edly pub­licly thanked for sup­port­ing his bid to be­come pres­i­dent.

Ramos, a for­mer po­lice and army gen­eral, was key in turn­ing the mil­i­tary against Fer­di­nand Mar­cos dur­ing the 1986 “Peo­ple Power” rev­o­lu­tion. – AFP

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