A senator called on the government to be transparent and clear on its independent foreign policy direction, especially in dealings with other countries in terms of aids and loans, and its position regarding the militarization of Philippine territories.
“Kailangang maging malinaw ang pamahalaan sa taumbayan ukol sa direksiyon nito sa foreign policy. Filipinos deserve to know dahil sila ang direktang maaapektuhan, lalo na sa trabaho, negosyo at presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam Aquino.
“Sa takbo ng mga pangyayari, mukhang Palasyo lang ang nakakaalam ng mga detalye sa direkisyon na nais nilang tahakin. Kailangan nila itong isapubliko para sa kaalaman ng taumbayan,” the senator added.
The lawmaker issued the pronouncement after the government announced that it will no longer accept development aid from the European Union (EU). The move will result in the loss of around 250 million Euros or P13.9 billion worth of grants mostly allocated to Muslim communities.
“The administration’s refusal to receive aid seems like a contradictory move to its proposal to raise taxes. If we are refusing aid because we are self-sufficient, why are we then planning to burden our countrymen with more taxes that might raise prices of goods even higher,” he added.
In addition, a report surfaced recently that China has installed rockets on the disputed Kagitingan or Fiery Cross Reef, which is being disputed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“Dapat nating malaman ang opisyal na posisyon at mga gagawing hakbang ng pamahalaan upang mapigil ang mga ganitong pagkilos sa mga isla na itinuturing nating bahagi ng ating bansa,” Sen. Bam stressed.
Last year, Sen. Bam has filed Senate Resolution No. 158, urging the government to clarify the country’s stand on different foreign policy issues.
It was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, then headed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but no hearing is held until now. Cayetano will assume the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) portfolio in the coming days after he was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) last Wednesday.