What special envoy FVR asked Duterte

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2016 01:22 AM

MANILA - Former President Fidel V. Ramos has asked President Duterte for clear orders in performing his duty as the country's special envoy to China, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Jesus Dureza said Wednesday night.

"It was clear that he was asking President Duterte for a good, clear road map or marching order on what the mission will be," Dureza said.

He said the issue of the West Philippine Sea was among the major topics discussed during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the Palace.

Ramos earlier accepted Duterte's offer to send him as a special envoy to China.

Aside from Ramos, the three other former presidents - Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III - also attended the meeting.

The council is composed of 35 leader-members from the executive and legislative branches of government, such as Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the majority and minority leaders of both Houses of Congress, chairs of Senate and House committees involved in national security concerns, and various members of the Cabinet.

It was the first time that the five former and present Philippine presidents gathered together in one room.

LIGHT, LIVELY MEETING

According to Dureza, the more than five-hour-long meeting remained light and lively.

"It was a very long, light moments during the meeting. It was a very lively session that lasted from 3 p.m. up to about 8:30 p.m.," he added.

Dureza also said that the attendance of the former presidents is beneficial in a way that they can advise the incumbent president based on their own experiences.

"I think the NSC will be convened whenever it is necessary. It is a very good mechanism where you get all the heads of government, former presidents with their own experience contributing and advising the incumbent president on how best to approach certain issues."