Q & A De Venecia open to helping Duterte on Ph-China row
Former 5-time House Speaker Jose de Venecia, founding chair of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) that represent more than 340 political parties, met in Manila with Northern Watch Newspaper’s political columnist Mortz C. Ortigoza to discuss U.S. President Barrack Obama’s phone call to Philippine President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte on the South China Sea’s row, immediate bilateral talks with the Chinese, his intercession for China, Vietnam, and the Philippines that signed a seismic and geological test, and joint exploration. Excerpts:INTERNATIONAL POLITICIAN. Jose de Venecia Jr, founding chairman of International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), speaks during a signing ceremony with the foreign members of the group.
NORTHERN WATCH (NW): U.S. President Obama told President – Elect Duterte to wait for the decision of the (United Nation) arbitration (tribunal in The Hague). Duterte answered that if the situation still goes in still water, he would go for bilateral talks with the Chinese. I know you advocated that talk, what’s your take then?
JOSE DE VENECIA (JDV): If the talks are at the level of the Arbitration Panel, we could continue. Anyway, it should be in the few weeks from now but then the bilateral talks at the informal level should begin immediately.
NW: Begin immediately?
JDV: At the informal level.
NW: Was Obama correct when he told Duterte to wait first for the decision of the Tribunal?
JDV: The formal way, the formal way because the informal level can be (through) back channeling. But that channeling could not wait.
NW: What’s your take on Duterte advocating a joint exploration between the Philippine and the Chinese there? In my countless interviews with you for the past several years, you suggested exploration as a practical solution to solve the brouhahas there.
JDV: I’ve been saying that for the last ten years!
Not only that, my proposal for the seismic and geologic examination and test on the South China Sea was signed by China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
The first one was before China and the Philippines; I have it and the second one China and Vietnam. I included Vietnam. I had it, Vietnam.
NW: In case President Duterte would invite you for some advise in our negotiation with the Chinese, are you amenable to that?
JDV: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
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