Note to Duterte: 'Learn from Facebook team'


Posted at Oct 21 2016 05:06 PM

MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto urged President Rodrigo Duterte to 'pick up a few pointers from his Facebook team' when changing the country's foreign policy.

These pointers are: "You need not unfriend someone to befriend another. If you don't like him at the moment, you can unfollow him without unfriending or blocking him so that you retain the option to follow him again," the senator said on Friday.

President Duterte on Thursday announced his "separation" from the United States at a business forum in Beijing's Great Hall of the People during a state visit to China.

Recto said the Philippines should practice "big-tent diplomacy" and that drastic shifts in the country's foreign policy direction should be "well-thought-out and not simply blurted out."

"Foreign policy rebalancing should not mean that we swing the pendulum to the other extreme, that we dump old friends for new suitors," he said.

Though the Philippines' relationship with the US is not perfect, Recto explained that "a country which has illegally built a great wall of sand in our seas is not, and far from, the epitome of a good friend either," apparently referring to China.

The senator added: "Crafting an independent foreign policy requires introspection, not impetuousness," which he believes is more true in the case of the US, one of the country's biggest source of development assistance, foreign exchange remittances, and a major market of services such as business process outsourcing.

Recto also commented on the President's statement that it's "three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia."

"As to our joining Russia and China in a new axis, let us fix our traffic first before we insert ourselves in the power games of nuclear states," he said.