Ex-leaders back in Palace


    HISTORIC President Rodrigo Duterte (center) poses for a picture with four of his predecessors: (from left) Joseph Estrada, now mayor of Manila; Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Pampanga representative; Fidel Ramos; and Benigno Aquino 3rd. The four ex-presidents were in Malacañang on Wednesday for a meeting of the National Security Council. The meeting was historic as, among others, it marked Arroyo’s return to the Palace and the national scene since regaining her freedom. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    For the first time in Philippine history, four former presidents returned to Malacañang Wednesday to discuss with the incumbent President and members of the National Security Council (NSC) “vital policies and strategies” for the future of the country.

    Former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Benigno Aquino 3rd gathered at the Palace yesterday afternoon for the NSC meeting convened by President Rodrigo Duterte.

    It was the first time that Arroyo set foot at the Palace since she stepped down from the presidency six years ago.

    Discussed during the meeting that started at 3 p.m. were various important issues such as the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim on the West Philippines Sea, the peace and development roadmap and updates on the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

    National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said 42 people were invited for yesterday’s meeting. Among those invited were the Senate President, House Speaker, minority leaders of both houses, chairmen of the committees on defense and security, peace and order, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency director general, Armed Forces chief,
    Philippine National Police chief, and the director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

    Also present was Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

    The NSC was created during the Quirino administration through Executive Order No. 330, dated July 1, 1950. It was reorganized by virtue of EO 115, series of 1986.

    The President, together with 35 members of the NSC from the executive and legislative
    branch, was to discuss the recent ruling of the United Nation’s tribunal on our sea dispute with China.

    “The President will lead the NSC in a multipartisan dialogue in order to agree on vital policies and strategies on important matters, including the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea,” the Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Malacañang said an overview of the road map for peace and development was to be presented in the first council meeting.

    Duterte decided to convene the NSC in the wake of the arbitral tribunal’s ruling invalidating China’s massive claim over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    Ramos, a member of the council, has agreed to be the country’s special envoy to Beijing.

    China claims almost the entire South China Sea, home to vital shipping lanes and also believed to hold vast mineral reserves. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have often overlapping claims.


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    1. You know the itchy feeling that you do not belong to the group…look at Pnoy in the picture. Great poster for decades to come…. WHO DOES NOT BELONG TO THE GROUP…your choice. MIne is everybody’s choice, DU30, the do good president.

    2. Kap. Pall Nyu on

      Except for PDU30, those are the guys who dashed the Filipinos’ hopes for progress. They are now richer than before.

    3. Pnoy did not convene the NSC in his six years in office and like his Mom Cory does not like unsolicited advise. In fact, Pres. Fidel Ramos gave an unsolicited advise to Pnoy during his early term in office but Pnoy said ” FVR, put it in black and white “, this is how un presidential and un statesman Pnoy is. Next NSC meeting, I hope Pres. Rody Duterte does not invite Pnoy anymore, he is a disgrace to Filipinos.

    4. Leodegardo Pruna on

      What a sight to see. GMA dazzling, P-Noy in tauting mood, Erap in his usual Asiong Salonga look, FVR in his antique pose, DU30 in his down to earth and unconventional wear. Except for P-Noy, the rest were very presidential. God bless the Philippines.

    5. In other papers and even on TVs and Radio, it was reported that Aguino snubbed Arroyo. I salute this paper for not including it – HINDI NAMAN KASI BALITANG pakina-pakinabang. And to Pnoy – move on man…

      • The reason why its important for Filipinos how Aquino acted towards GMA, for the very fact after all GMA is a real stateswoman and that she is honorable and respectable, after all the sufferring she endured under this madman.

      • On the contrary, it is Aquino who.looks the most decent and deserving of the title.

    6. ernie del rosario on

      Ang problema eh yung isang dating presidente eh bastos pa rin. Di man lang siya nag greet sa isa sa mga ex-presidents. Ano ba yan ? Batang munting inagawan ng kendi o laruan ? Di pa rin niya bati yung isa ? Yet he was the president for 6 years. No wonder we did not progress and instead retrogressed during all those years.

    7. Kudos to President Duterte for making this meeting with other four ex presidents a realitym considering the personal animosity between ex Pres Aquino and ex Pres Arroyo, it is but a welcome development that Digong was able to convince these two ex presidents to personally see each other.

    8. Pres Duterte should and must not include Akkino in any meeting with regards to anything to do with NSC and anything else running his adm. And for him to snub GMA, there is nothing good to say about this guy,

    9. Of the four former Presidents , Aquino holds the most knowledge and know how pertaining to the South China Sea problems. The second knowledgeble person will Ramos followed by GMA, Erap Estrada is pure garbage and trash. He ( Estrada is expert in committing Corupption and he may sell china sea to the Chinese.