By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA (PNA) – Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said on Tuesday that Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino has the prerogative to conduct Senate inquiry into foreign policy direction of President Rodrigo Duterte.
”I’m sure as a senator of the Republic, that is well within the prerogative of any senator to inquire into — as a matter fact, the Senate is already inquiring into that,” Yasay said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Aquino, cousin of President Duterte’s predecessor President Benigno Aquino III, has filed Senate Resolution No. 158 asking the Senate to investigate what he claimed conflicting statements of President Duterte and his senior officials.
”This is a matter that will probably be more a concern of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that we have, chaired by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. So, if he wants to air these concerns, then he brings it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee so that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be able to investigate this matter,” Yasay said.
Yasay believed that there are no conflicting statements from President Duterte and his Cabinet officials with regards to the foreign policy direction of the government.
”Our foreign policy must always be predicated upon the pursuit of the paramount national interest,” Yasay said.
”The President has always been consistent in explaining that in carrying out an independent foreign policy, we should always pursue the paramount national interest. And then the President has also said that other nations must respect our right in so far as addressing our domestic challenges without any undue interference,” he added.