Duterte’s threat to arrest critics saddens former DFA Secretary Del Rosario

Published June 28, 2019, 9:32 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Roy Mabasa

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario on Friday said he is “deeply saddened” by President Duterte’s threat to arrest critics who will try to impeach him over his perceived pro-China stance on the recent sinking of a Filipino fishing boat in the West Philippine Sea.

Former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File / MANILA BULLETIN)
Former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I am deeply saddened. It is my hope that we will endeavor to do what is right,” Del Rosario said in a text message.

The former DFA chief, a staunch critic of Beijing, assured that he will continue to work to “give primacy to our people over China.”

Del Rosario was the Foreign Affairs secretary when the Philippines filed an arbitration case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in January 2013. On July 12, 2016, the international court ruled in favor of the Philippines and invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim.

On Thursday, Duterte reacted sharply on the statements made by several politicians and former government officials, including Del Rosario, who raised the specter of impeachment after the Chief Executive said he allowed Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters because “we’re friends”.

“Impeach me? I will arrest all of them. I dare you to do it,” Duterte said during an oath-taking ceremony in Malacañang

 
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