- Cayetano denies any secret meeting or deals with China on the West PH Sea
- He also hit back at Aquino on the question of transparency
- The DFA official said the Aquino approach on the WPS ‘did not produce better results’
MANILA, Philippines – Responding to criticisms by former President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Leni Robredo, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said there was never any secret meetings or deals between the Philippines and China on the West Philippine Sea.
Cayetano said the Duterte government has always been transparent in its negotiations with Beijing as far as the territorial dispute is concerned.
“We held no secret meetings. All the meetings are on the record,” said Cayetano in a press briefing on Tueday before departing to Singapore for the 51st Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting.
Aquino and Robredo earlier questioned the Duterte administration’s policy on the West Philippine Sea dispute, particularly on supposedly not being transparent in his dealings with the Chinese government.
But Cayetano explained he even offered to brief Robredo, the Congress and West Philippine Sea advocate Acting Chief Justice Antonio on what the government has accomplished, so far.
“There are no secret deals. We are working out the issues, and principles are being discussed,” he said.
Who’s not being transparent?
The DFA official even hit back at Aquino; saying the former leader should ask himself if he had been transparent with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, referring to the backdoor negotiation he allowed with Senator Antonio Trillanes as representative.
While Cayetano said the Duterte administration is not an enemy with the Aquino administration, the policy of the former supposedly “did not produce better result”.
“They made a decision when it comes to China. I’m not judging them on that. But their problem is they want to impose their strategy on this administration. And their problem was their strategy was not working,” he added.
Cayetano also opened up on the possibility of the joint exploration between the two countries in the disputed territories as the framework is now being undertaken.
However, he assured that the framework will not violate the Philippine Constitution and will follow the Malampaya 60-40 sharing of revenues in favor of the Philippines as a standard.