Malacañang on Tuesday confirmed that former President Fidel V. Ramos had resigned as the Philippines’ special envoy to China.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Ramos informed him that he has submitted his resignation letter but President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to accept or reject it.
“According to FVR, the letter has been submitted to the Office of the Executive Secretary, but it will be up to
PRRD [Duterte] whether to accept it or not,” Abella told reporters in a text message.
Ramos said he resigned because his job was over. His resignation came a few days after the President’s visit to China.
In a separate statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the government will still need Ramos’ “expertise and stature.”
“It is not true that the former president can no longer have any role in our engagement with China. His stature and expertise are needed now, more than ever, to follow up what President Duterte accomplished during his recent visit to China,” Andanar said in a text message.
Ramos recently criticized some of Duterte’s policy pronouncements.
In his column published on Saturday, Ramos cited Duterte’s stand not to honor the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to lower climate-warming emissions.
The former president, who convinced Duterte to run for president, earlier said the Philippines lost badly during the first 100 days of the administration.
Ramos criticized Duterte for being too focused on his war on drugs, neglecting other social ills such as poverty. He also observed that policemen were not following the basic rule of shooting to disable crime suspects, but were instead shooting to kill even if their lives were not in danger.
The former military and defense chief also called out Duterte on his anti-US foreign policy, including the President’s stand to end joint military exercises with its treaty ally. He also decried Duterte’s insults against UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea who helped Filipino veterans of the Korean war.
Ramos was named special envoy to China in July.