MANILA - One of Senator Antonio Trillanes’ contacts in China for his backdoor negotiations is a close friend of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying paid Enrile a courtesy call early today, but they did not delve deep into the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China.
Enrile earlier accused Trillanes of selling the country’s sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal to the Chinese. One of the officials Trillanes allegedly talked to in China was Fu Ying.
Asked if Enrile tried to confirm this with the Chinese official, the Senate President said: “No. Only that I do not know whether Trillanes understood her because this woman is a graduate of the University of Kent in England, I think.”
Fu Ying is in Manila for the 18th Foreign Ministry Consultations scheduled for Friday.
Enrile said he and Fu Ying go way back when the latter was still ambassador of China here in the Philippines from 1998 to 2000.
“She used to come to my office to talk to me about some problems then of China, especially when we were discussing the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. She asked me about my perception about the Philippine economy and I told her, well, we also benefited out of the progress of your economy,” Enrile said.
Asked why Trillanes would not understand her, Enrile said: “Iba ang discipline nila doon. I am not a very well-trained diplomat…She started from the bottom and she knows world politics and world political dynamics, and diplomacy quite well, because she has been an ambassador of China to London. You cannot be an ambassador to St. James if you have nothing between your ears.”
Pressed further if there are discussions on the two countries’ dispute, Enrile said he only explained his side on the issue.
“I told her, I mentioned about my statements in the newspapers. You have a country to serve, and I have a country to serve so nothing personal about these things. It’s a matter of raising and thinking and protecting or respecting our national interest,” he said.
Enrile is sure that Fu Ying understands him. “You know, if you have been engaged in these things for a long time, you understand each other. You can discuss things in a friendly way. She will understand that I am serving my country, not anybody, in the same way that I would understand that she is serving her country and nobody else.”