It might be well for President Aquino to constitute and convene at the earliest opportune time a Council of Advisers on China consisting of prominent Filipino statesmen whose sole function is to make available to the president their individual expertise in international relations specifically in dealing with the China problem over the West Philippine Sea.
Outright, there are two prominent persons I have in mind who have gained years of sterling experience along this line, which are former Pres. Fidel Ramos and former Speaker Jose de Venecia, both of whom were, and still are, considered experts on China and respected as well in the international community of nations as Global Filipinos.
I am sure both of them are acceptable to and respected by Chinese government officials. The group should be small, maybe five to seven persons to include DFA Sec. Albert del Rosario, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, maybe former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte and a businessman with international credentials. The thing is, the president should limit the group to a manageable small band of “big boys.”
The whole country and the Asia-Pacific region as well, would benefit from the decades of experience they have accumulated in international relations, particularly with China.
They should be able to help President Aquino promote high-stake diplomacy and eventually diffuse the disturbing PHL-China relations.
It will be recalled that President Aquino came into the presidency two years ago almost bereft of experience in international diplomacy although he has good experience at the national arena of politics, as a representative from his home province of Tarlac and later as senator of the land. Mr. President, the problem with China goes beyond Mutual Defense Treaties with the United States and Australia.
Should you create the Council, it should move with guarded secrecy (media briefings to come later, should it be successful) and negotiate for the best possible solution that would be beneficial to all parties contesting the mineral resources under the belly of the sea.