- President Rodrigo Duterte is looking to appoint former interior secretary Rafael Alunan if former president Fidel Ramos refuses Duterte's request to be special envoy to China,
-While trying to boost troop's morale during a visit, Duterte vouched for Alunan saying that he is a reservist and a colonel at that
-Alunan is one of the leaders of the West Philippine Sea Coalition, a group that led protest actions against China's bullying to the Philippines over the territorial dispute
The Office of the President is looking to tap former interior secretary Rafael Alunan as special envoy to China in the event that former president Fidel Ramos denies Duterte's request to assume the position.
During Duterte's visit to the Army's 6th Infantry Division headquarters in Cotabato, where he went to boost the morale of the military men in duty serving to combat terror groups and insurgencies, he also announced to the troops his intention to appoint Alunan saying that he is a reservist, a colonel in the reserve force, and that he knows his business.
Duterte is set to visit other military camps to improve the morale of the men serving the military of the Philippines as tensions grow higher with China.
Duterte was caught previously saying in jest that the Philippines is very rich in resources that there will still be enough even if China gets the whole South China Sea.
In light of the territorial issue in the South China Sea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has ruled in favor of the Philippines and found that China's claims over most of the South China Sea are baseless.
The current administration's foreign affairs department, headed by Sec. Perfecto Yasay, has urged the public not to zealously celebrate the victory as this entails sensitive implications with the volatile opposing country.
Yasay said that it is important that they study and analyze the effects and ramifications of the ruling first, before any kind of celebration.
China has been vocal about its refusal to submit to the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration saying that the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the matter.
Rafael Alunan served under previous administrations of former presidents Ramos and Corazon Aquino as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government and Secretary of Tourism, respectively.
Under political party Bagumbayan along with Dick Gordon, Alunan ran for Senator during the recently concluded elections but failed to secure a Top 12 spot.
Alunan has always been vocal against China's "bullying" of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. He is one of the leaders of the West Philippine Sea Coalition, leading protests against China. His appointment for special envoy to China will be very interesting.
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