MANILA, Philippines – Former president Fidel Ramos has given another piece of advice to President Duterte: pursue an interdependent and not an independent foreign policy.
Ramos made the call on Tuesday night in remarks at the send-off dinner tendered by the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) for outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg.
Scores of senators and congressmen, other politicians, business leaders and diplomats attended the event.
“Thank you very much for putting us together to assure our friend, Philip Goldberg, that friendship should never change, but indeed must be multiplied with your people so that in the end, according to the UN, in the year 2030, we are just one community and one family. Kaya natin ito (we can do it),” Ramos told his audience.
“That is why I am saying it is not an independent foreign policy anymore that counts for the Philippines. It is an interdependent foreign policy densely intertwined by so many common interests, climate change, more export and import, a stable monetary currency and cultural exchange,” he said.
He said maintaining peace should be the top priority of global leaders “because the world could be obliterated in 25 minutes with weapons of mass destruction.”
Earlier, Ramos advised Duterte not to alienate the US and the European Union while befriending China and Russia, and to compel policemen not to kill drug suspects but only to shoot to disable them for further investigation.
President Duterte has frequently criticized the US and European Union, even cursing President Obama.
Goldberg agreed with Ramos that Duterte should pursue an interdependent foreign policy, saying it would be good for the stability of the nation.
“I think the Philippines should have a good relationship with its neighbors. It should have good relationship with China. It should have a good relationship with all countries. That is something we support. That is good for security, that is good for United States also,” he said.
During the event, former Leyte representative Martin Romualdez and his wife Rep. Yedda Romualdez presented Goldberg with a plaque of appreciation for his country’s help to Tacloban City and other areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
Goldberg thanked the MOPC and the Romualdezes “for recognizing what we did, not just the United States, but many countries helped together.”
“It is equally important that we tried to help in the aftermath of Yolanda. How warm and hospitable the people of the Philippines, thank you,” he said.
Before the program ended, MOPC president Jose Manuel Romualdez gave Goldberg a bottle of French wine.
“We have a special wine for the ambassador called Chateau DuTERTRE. This is a French Margaux wine 2009, so this is really a special wine from France that we are going to give to the ambassador so that he will remember the Philippines,” he said.
Goldberg, who has not escaped Duterte’s wrath, is ending his tour of duty on Oct. 28.
Tags: China, drug war, Duterte, European Union, Fidel Ramos, foreign policy, interdependent and not an independent foreign policy, outgoing US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, Philip Goldberg, Philippine relationship with the U.S., Philippines, Ramos, Russia, Super Typhoon Yolanda