Former Navy junior officer and incumbent Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed he was on an “official mission” to conduct “backdoor negations” that eased tension between Manila and China in May.
Trillanes said it was unfair when Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario claimed that his negotiations with Chinese officials “did more harm than good” on the government’s claim over Panatag Shoal.
“I would like to believe I was able to accomplish my mission. Now, we can see there’s no more tension. Our products are being accepted again in China,” Trillanes said in a radio interview over dzBB.
“I’m not grabbing the credit because it has already been given to them (Foreign Affairs department) but this issue cropping up is unfair,” he noted.
The re-electionist senator claimed President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III confidentially asked his help as a sign of his “probable” dissatisfaction over Alberto’s efforts to ease situation with China.
In April, a Navy ship arrested Chinese fishermen for poaching endangered species off the Panatag or Scarborough near Zambales province.
Claiming ownership in the area, Chinese Navy ships stopped the Philippine Navy from arresting foreign fishermen resulting to several weeks of stand-off in the disputed territory.
Trillanes, who was assigned to patrol the West Philippine Sea while still serving in the Philippine Navy, said they were able to quietly resolve tension much worse than the tension with China last April.
“In 1990s, the skirmishes involved sinking each other’s ship but we were able to solve it quietly. But it (tension) escalated when he went talking to the media,” Trillanes.
He also blamed Del Rosario for the failed meeting between President Aquino and Chinese President Hu Jintao during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Russia due to “petty schedule problems.”
Trillanes faced rebellion and coup d' etat charges office during the Arroyo administration before being elected in 2007. He was temporarily freed in 2011 before receiving amnesty in 2011.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.