On 1st day as DFA head, Cayetano says no to 'megaphone diplomacy'

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2017 11:15 AM

Foreign affairs chief, Secretary Alan Cayetano

On his first day as foreign affairs chief, Secretary Alan Cayetano said Philippines will not engage in "megaphone diplomacy" when addressing conflicts with other countries.

Cayetano said it was important not to spread hatred in dealing with disputes to make sure there was enough space to discuss and find solutions.

"By using 'megaphone diplomacy,' nare-raise ang emotions ng tao -- people of one country and the other -- and emotions are high hatred comes into the heart," Cayetano said.

Cayetano said that while he was uncomfortable with China claiming parts of Philippine territory, he holds no grudge against the Chinese.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner," said Cayetano.

While discussing China, Cayetano also described the dialogue between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping about the disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

Cayetano said the two leaders had a frank and friendly discussion, despite Duterte's statement revealing China warned his administration of war if Manila insisted on its ownership of disputed seas.

In a press conference Monday, Cayetano said he saw "mutual respect" between both leaders, who discussed maritime issues for the first time as part of the Bilateral Consultative Mechanism.

"It was a very frank discussion. Mutual respect could be felt," he said. "They would not be able to speak that frank to each other if there was no trust developed."

"There was no bullying and pushing around. It wasn't a threat in a sense na, 'Pilipinas, pag di mo 'to ginawa, heto. China, pag di mo 'to ginawa, heto,'" Cayetano added.

Cayetano also emphasized Duterte will not abandon Philippines' claims in the disputed seas, despite the chief executive's unusual approach.

"He has told us many many times that he is committed to protecting our territorial integrity, he will protect every single inch of our territory. But trust him on how he will do it and how he will approach it and the strategy," Cayetano said.