Ex-Philippine leader resigns as Duterte’s China envoy
FORMER Philippine leader Fidel Ramos has resigned as special envoy to China after criticising President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the US and his deadly war on crime.
Mr Duterte said he had received a resignation letter from Mr 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 4000 lives in four months.
Mr Duterte appointed Mr 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.
Mr Ramos, 88, travelled to Hong Kong in August on an “icebreaker” trip to meet with senior Chinese officials but he did not join Mr Duterte in Beijing last month for a state visit that cemented ties and secured billions of dollars in Chinese investments and loans.
Mr Ramos told GMA7 television this week he had resigned because he had done what was needed to improve ties with China.
But Mr Duterte’s comments pointed to a much deeper falling out with Mr Ramos, who he had repeatedly publicly thanked for supporting his bid to become president.
Mr Ramos has in recent weeks been openly critical of Mr Duterte’s attacks on the US and threats to end the two nations’ military alliance.
“So, what gives? Are we throwing away decades of military partnership, tactical proficiency, compatible weaponry, predictable logistics and soldierto-soldier camaraderie just like that,” Mr Ramos wrote in a newspaper column to mark Mr Duterte’s 100th day in office.
Mr Ramos has also been one of the few prominent political figures to directly criticise Mr Duterte’s anti-drugs crackdown. –
Fidel Ramos is hugely disappointed with President Duterte.