Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nothing wrong with backchannel talks

Sen. Drilon said he sees nothing wrong with Trillanes' backchannel talks with the Chinese since these were authorized by MalacaƱang. Trillanes earlier said it was Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa who authorized the backroom negotiations with the Chinese.

In interviews conducted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV emerged as the negotiator working independently for President Benigno Aquino in Beijing.

In a phone interview, Trillanes said, “If Secretary Del Rosario was only close to being effective as a foreign secretary, then there wouldn’t be any need for a back channel in the first place.”

Trillanes has made no secret about his opinion that Del Rosario is unfit to represent the Philippines on the negotiating table with China because of his allegedly rabid opposition to any peaceful settlement with Beijing and his purported desire to bring the United States into the confrontation.

The senator said this was shown by a series of actions Del Rosario had allegedly made that appeared to intensify, rather than ease, the conflict between the two countries.

Trillanes earlier accused Enrile of being a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, saying the Senate President is pushing for the passage of a measure to split Camarines Sur.

On the other hand, Enrile accused Trillanes of selling out the country to Chinese interests after being involved with backchannel talks with Chinese officials

Sen. Franklin Drilon on Thursday admitted he is saddened by the ongoing word war between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Drilon said it was the first time that he has seen such conduct in his 15 years in the chamber especially after the two senators started resorting to personal attacks.