MVP’s intriguing Christmas Party remark about Secretary del Rosario

A happy President Aquino and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

A happy President Aquino and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

At the Christmas Party of Metro Pacific Investment Corporation last month at J.W. Marriott Hotel in Hongkong, the company’s chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) made special mention of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario saying, “he will soon be rejoining us in the private sector.”

MVP’s remark intrigued other guests who asked each other, “Why, is he resigning?”

(Del Rosario’s statement on this article released in Malacañang: “In my talks with my trusted friend Manny Pangilinan, in December, he is fully supportive of my decision to continue in public service for as long as the President wishes for me to do so.”)

Actually, del Rosario had resigned twice in his almost three years as foreign secretary. (He served as ambassador to the United States during the time of Gloria Arroyo.) The first was in June 2012 after the standoff with China at Scarborough Shoal (also known as Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag shoal) which brought into the picture, much to the resentment of del Rosario, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Sources close to Malacañang said President Aquino’s reaction was,he was not acting on any cabinet resignations before the May 2013 elections.

Del Rosario again offered to resign after he was told by another cabinet official that the President was displeased with his statement of concern over how Malaysia was maltreating Filipinos during the Lahad Datu, Sabah incident February last year when the followers of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram III took a stand in the coastal village in Sabah asserting the claim to the territory.

Aquino was more concerned about not displeasing Malaysia, which is brokering the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, than protecting the human rights of Filipinos in Sabah, which the Philippines is also claiming to be part of its territory.

It’s not known whether the Malacañang official relayed Del Rosario’s second offer to resign to the President.

Foreign Affairs is not one of Aquino’s strong points. Thus, it is important that his foreign secretary is competent. He did not have that in the first year of his administration because his sisters, especially Pinky Abellada, insisted on retaining Gloria Arroyo’s foreign secretary, Alberto Romulo, citing family friendship.
The sisters’ insistence of Romulo compelled the President to take back his offer (which was accepted) to be foreign secretary to former Trade Secretary Juan B. Santos, who settled for the chairmanship of the Social Security System.

Provided with a golden parachute as MPIC board advisor, Romulo was finally let go in February 2011.

Administratively, Del Rosario is doing well in the DFA. He is credited for strengthening the career system especially in ambassadorial postings.

The problem with Del Rosario is his blatantly pro-US and anti-China stand. His strategy of “shaming” China in regional and international arena (calling China “duplicitous”) thinking that it would pressure the economic giant into withdrawing from disputed territories has not been effective and has in fact adversely affected the country’s trade, tourism, and labor.

Aquino has realized that relations with China can’t move forward with Del Rosario as foreign secretary. This must have been discussed among his closest advisers because immediately after the May elections last year, Budget Secretary Butch Abad asked Santos if he would be willing to transfer to the DFA. Santos said, “No.”

Sources said the President is considering a career foreign affairs officer to be at the helm of the DFA.

But even with these exploratory behind-the-scenes moves, as long as Del Rosario wants to be in government,he will stay in the DFA.

Aquino does not fire officials. A Malacañang source said it has something to do with the traumatic experience of his mother with the suicide of her then Finance Secretary Jaime Ongpin amid cabinet disagreements.
Don’t expect any changes in the cabinet despite the involvement of some of them in the Jenny Napoles pork barrel scam.

After the devastation of Yolanda and his satisfaction rating still “good”, why would Aquino rock the boat with cabinet changes? In fact he said he will be pressuring them less this year and give them “ a little more breathing room” for fear that they would suffer from burnout.

Expect more of the same.

Related story,reaction to this article:

January 8, 2014 6:10 am  Tags:   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya

26 Responses

  1. Mannie - January 8, 2014 9:36 am

    The reason why many of the government officials’ resignation letters got rejected could be because those were not “irrevocable” letters of resignation like what former BOC Commissioner Biazon submitted. But of course the President still has the last say.

    Over all, I think Del Rosario performed well. His English is good and his profile is that of a respected government official who can interact with foreign ministers. However,I think I never heard him spoke Tagalog. Even during media interview, he was asked in Tagalog and he responded in English. It would be okay if he uttered a few Tagalog words, but no…Del Rosario spoke straight English. Considering that he’s even the Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary, I think he should be the first one to show to the world the beauty of Filipino language and that he’s proud of it. I’m not criticizing him. It’s just my observation.

    It’s January 2014, we expect some changes in Pnoy’s team. Del Rosario could be one of those who are on their way out. For one thing, he was GMA’s Ambassador to US and is not identified with either Mar or Binay’s group. The question is who shall replace him.

  2. DeLaCruz - January 8, 2014 9:40 am

    The problem with Ellen Tordesillas is that she is a paid hack of Antonio Trillanes. So, anyone who goes against him, is automatically in her firing sights.

    Trillanes was embarrassed by the revelations of his “under the table” Chinese negotiations which revealed that he was actually negotiating on behalf of the Chinese and willing to give up Philippine territory (Because, according to him, “Nobody cares about Scarborough Shoal”) Well, we Filipinos do.

    If Trillanes continued to negotiate on the Philippines behalf, there would be Chinese soldiers, now and forever, in your backyard.

    Tordesillas also made a pronouncement last year during President Aquino’s SONA that Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario was resigning soon. Well, its been six months and counting. Has he resigned yet?

    There is nothing that can move forward if China continues to play their imaginary 9 dash line. As you can see, China has created their own conflicts, not just with the Philippines, but Japan, Korea and the USA. The DFA Secretary is doing a fine job and he makes your blog and columns, cartoonish works of fiction.

  3. Mannie - January 8, 2014 10:01 am

    #2 That was a very strong accusation from you on Madam Ellen. Calling her “paid hack of Trillanes” is even ground for libel.

  4. TonGuE-tWisTeD - January 8, 2014 12:56 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you, Dela Cruz. Trillanes was pushing for inclusion of Scarborough in the Baseline while Kalayaan must be considered as a “regime of islands” patterned after Hawaii and Guam, per his filed Senate Bill, contrary to Rep. Cuenco’s version including both groups into the Baseline. What was passed by the majority however was Miriam’s version which considered both as “regime of islands” as if it was the signal for China to begin it push for its foolish expansion and start occupying Scarborough. Had the final law been tailored as Trillanes had wanted it, we would not have “invited” the Chinks to screw up of teeny rock islets.

    Trillanes was still in prison at the time and none of the later made-up tales about his “secret” Chinese deals proved he was giving it all away to the enemy.

    Unless, of course, you can show me one.

  5. Ellen - January 8, 2014 12:58 pm

    What’s your problem, Mr. de la Cruz? Read and understand the story. Is there anything that you find inaccurate? I’m talking about MVP’s comment. Has anybody disputed that?

  6. Ellen - January 8, 2014 1:02 pm

    “Tordesillas also made a pronouncement last year during President Aquino’s SONA that Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario was resigning soon. Well, its been six months and counting. Has he resigned yet? ” #2 de la Cruz

    This must be the article you are referring to: Basahin at intindihin mo ng mabuti kasi ang article para hindi ka ma-stress. Where in this article did I say that he was “resigning soon.”

  7. TonGuE-tWisTeD - January 8, 2014 1:25 pm

    This is the blog post I was referring to. He was still in detention when he filed the Bill. I doubt if he had been contacting the Chinese while in detention. That will definitely bolster your ridiculous argument.

  8. manuelbuencamino - January 8, 2014 3:09 pm

    Ellen is not a paid hack of Antonio Trillanes. Bilib siya kay Trillanes, that is obvious, but it ends there.

    At the same time Trillanes did freelance on that China incident, similar to the way that Binay freelanced during the MNLF attack on Zamboanga. We don’t have the facts to be able to conclude whether Trillanes or Binay offered compromises adverse to the national interest when they decided to freelance, we don’t know if they did it to advance their political careers, we don’t know. All we know is they acted on their own.

  9. Ellen - January 8, 2014 5:47 pm

    Del Rosario’s reaction to this article released in Malacañang:

    “In my talks with my trusted friend, Manny Pangilinan, in December, he is fully supportive of my decision to continue in public service for as long as the President wishes for me to do so.”

  10. Lurker - January 8, 2014 7:36 pm

    Ellen is not a paid hack of Sen. Trillanes or anybody else! She is a well-respected journalist always on the side of the truth.

  11. chi - January 8, 2014 10:09 pm

    Uh-uh… may dumating na Lulimon hindi getzing ang kwento bumanat na!

  12. chi - January 8, 2014 10:12 pm

    #4. Had the final law been tailored as Trillanes had wanted it, we would not have “invited” the Chinks to screw up of teeny rock islets.

    Mismo, tongue.

    Research kasi muna bago banat, mang Juan!

  13. Becky - January 8, 2014 10:14 pm

    Napansin ko rin, Chi.

    Secretary del Rosario did not deny the story in his statement. He just said MVP supports his decision to continue being in public service. Di, tama yung sinabi ni Ellen. No cabinet changes, more of the same.

    Ano kaya ang problema ni Mr. de la Cruz?

  14. Mannie - January 8, 2014 11:16 pm

    After my brief prompt response to Mr. De La Cruz’s allegation about Madam Ellen, I did not say more because I expected you guys to react against his post.

    If this Blog is bias, De La Cruz’s comments would not have been posted here. I might not know Madam Ellen personally but only in this Blog, but never did I see her displaying or enjoying material privileges in public or during media/social gatherings. Her looks, clothes everything tells me she’s a simple and humble journalist. I do have other journalist friends, but never did I hear any negative comment about Madam Ellen. Compare her to other journalists who display their wealth, luxury vehicles and some even with bodyguards, Madam Ellen is an ordinary patriotic Filipina if you meet her in the street.

    Mr. De La Cruz, unless you can back up with evidence of your allegation that Madam Ellen is a paid hack of Trillanes, please shut up. Sen. Trillanes is a young idealist senator. Among the senators, he had the balls to stand up against no less than the powerful Sen. Enrile. Despite lack of campaign budget, he surprisingly won as a senator even inside his cell. That would prove that he deserved the Senate seat unlike some non-performing senators who have been occupying their seats due to popularity. Is Trillanes perfect? Of course not. We could only watch how he performs. If he fails and becomes corrupt like the others, I’m sure Madam Ellen will not condone it. I myself will be critical of him.

  15. vonjovi2 - January 9, 2014 6:43 am

    Ini inis lang kayo ni Mr. De La Cruz.:)

  16. Mannie - January 9, 2014 7:02 am

    Nope, my friend Von. His allegation against Madam Ellen was very serious. We seldom saw Madam Ellen reacted, and she did this time.

  17. Becky - January 9, 2014 8:10 am

    Sumaya tuloy ang discussion because of Mr. de la Cruz. I also saw him in Yahoo.Anarchy doon.The same comment.

  18. Mannie - January 9, 2014 8:19 am

    Becky, he could be a paid hack himself.

  19. TonGuE-tWisTeD - January 9, 2014 5:46 pm

    Naikwento ko na ito in the past. Nasaktan sila Pangilinan at mga kasosyo niya sa Forum Energy nung sinabi ni Trillanes na buhangin lang ang laman nung Reed Bank. An info he might have been fed by the Chinese he was back channeling with.

    Everyone jumped on AT4 because the billions spent by MVP on acquiring Forum from the Greedy Group of Razon, Brown, Aboitiz, Ibazeta, Arroyos, Ongpins, et al, may never be recovered anymore had the Chinks divulged the results of the joint RP-Vietnam-China geo survey in the West Phil. Sea. Enrile’s attacks on AT4 in 2012 re “Brady Notes” was a form of “ganti” by MVPs gang for being noisy. Enrile however used the irrelevant Scarborough issue to get back at Trillanes on the CamSur split. Look, no one is putting money on Forum or buying its shares. MVP is uneasy knowing this epic failure does not sit well with his bosses – the Salim brothers.

    Many do not know it but it was Del Rosario who was MVP’s “padrino” to the Salim Group. Kaya naman ganun nalang galit ni MVP kay Trillanes. Ginamit pa si Del Rosario at Enrile. Sabi nga ni saxnviolins – local Halliburton daw.

    Hindi na rin siya hinahabol ni Enrile sa overpriced cellphone charges kasi “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

  20. MPRivera - January 9, 2014 7:45 pm

    sobrang nakakainggit itong karamihan sa ating mga namumuno dahil nasa kanila na ang lahat ng sarap sa buhay.

    inabot nila ang mataas na pinag-aralan.

    nasa kanila na ang yaman.

    nasa kanila ang kapangyarihan.

    para bang lahat na ng pagpapala’t biyaya ay sinalo na nila’t wala nang itinira para sa aming isang kahig isang tuka.

    hindi na rin nila pinatawad at SINOLO na nila ang pagkakaroon ng KAPAL ng MUKHA.

    iisang bagay na lamang ang wala pa AT tila ba mailap na mapasakanila – HIYA!

  21. baycas2 - January 9, 2014 9:21 pm

    I trust the objectivity of Ma’am Ellen.

  22. Ellen - January 9, 2014 9:27 pm

    The Brady Notes, marked “Secret” came from the DFA and Enrile waved it in front of TV. Even gave some reporters a copy. Who in the DFA could have given it to Enrile? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Enrile violated the cardinal rule on confidentiality of government documents just to get back at Trillanes. He didn’t think that the contents of those notes (what Tongue was saying re deposits in Reed/Recto bank) were detrimental to the business of persons (MVP, Del Rosario) who gave them those notes.

    They didn’t destroy Trillanes. But what happen to their business? Read Tongue’s #19.

    Ay naku, whom the Gods wish to destroy…….

  23. Mannie - January 11, 2014 11:00 am

    I got this information somewhere. May I have Madam Ellen or Mr. Rivera’s comments on this?

    1. Trillanes’ mother make it big in the AFP since she is one of the regular suppliers.

    2. When Trillanes hoodwinked his fellow soldiers to organize a coup against GMA, he was the first to surrender when the ultimatum of the government was about to expire and they were in danger of being attacked.

    3. When he was imprisoned, it is a matter of record that Trillanes was the highest spender in the Senate insofar as travel expense is concerned. How was he able to go out of the prison cell and travel remains a mystery until now.

  24. Ellen - January 11, 2014 3:31 pm

    Mannie, those lies have been addressed by Trillanes already. No benefit spending time and space for that.

  25. Mannie - January 11, 2014 9:42 pm

    Thanks Madam Ellen. I didn’t know those were addressed by Trillanes already that’s why I was asking. I got those from somewhere. True or not, I only hope for the best to our country.

  26. Al - January 13, 2014 5:22 pm

    A good leader knows how to differentiate friendship from requirements of governance. Aquino does not seem to know that.

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