FORMER President Fidel Ramos has quit as special envoy of President Rodrigo Duterte to China to give way to official negotiators.
“The moment the President came back from China from a sucessful state visit, I resigned as special evoy to China because the oficials have taken over, and I have done my job,” Ramos told GMA News in a news report broadcast Monday evening.
On October 5, Duterte appointed journalist Jose Santiago “Chito” Santa Romana to the vacant post of ambassador to China.
Duterte went on a four-day state visit to China in October, bringing home $24 billion in loan and investment pledges.
Ramos’ announcement came after he wrote two opinion columns in the Manila Bulletin that were critical of Duterte.
In the first opinion piece, Ramos hit Duterte over the rising number of deaths linked to the government’s anti-crime drive, as well as the President’s expletive-laden rants against his international critics.
In another opinion column, Ramos againt criticized Duterte for refusing to commit to reductions in carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Ramos, who convinced Duterte to run for president, said the administration should not take offense, saying he should be considered an “older brother of the big, big, big Filipino family.”
“I still consider myself part of the Duterte team but I am free to give friendly advice, and that is part of our democratic culture,” Ramos told GMA News after paying respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and signing the book of condolences at the Royal Thai Embassy.