Senator Cayetano Dares Noynoy Aquino To Answer 11 Questions About Scarborough Shoals In The Name Of Transparency - The Daily Sentry

Friday, November 23, 2018

Senator Cayetano Dares Noynoy Aquino To Answer 11 Questions About Scarborough Shoals In The Name Of Transparency

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and former President Noynoy Aquino, photo from
Last August, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano released an open letter directed at former president Noynoy Aquino regarding some questions the people have regarding how the Philippines lost control of Scarborough Shoal.

This is after the latter pointed out to the current President Rogrigo Duterte that he should have been more transparent. As a response, Cayetano wrote an open letter for Aquino saying that if transparency is what he wants, then he better start with telling the people what happened to Scarborough.

Current affairs

With the current issues regarding the West Philippine Sea and what China is claiming that are theirs, Facebook page Showbiz Government reposted the open letter on their page.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, photo from Philippine Star
11 Questions and what transpired

In his open letter, he said that rather than starting a debate on which administration is more transparent or even mislead the people on many facets of the situation, he respectfully requests that the former president answer the questions about Scarborough in 2012.

In 2012, the Philippines and China had a long-standing stand-off around Scarborough Shoals. During that time, Senator Trillanes made 16 unaccounted trips to China which they never revealed the purpose. A questionable order was made to the Philippine ships to back off the stand off saying that China and Philippines have come to an agreement that they will both back off.

However, when the Philippines backed off, it was clear that China didn’t have plans to back off. The mainstream news media then reported that the Philippine ships went back because of a typhoon. But in reality, the typhoon only hit 2 days after they went back.

These shady events made way to the questions of Cayetano.

He started with a question on how we lost control of the shoals under Aquino’s watch. He also asked who was in command and who gave the decision to end the standoff. After it was found out that China did not back out, why did he not order the Philippine ships to go back?


In response to the said open letter, Aquino sarcastically answered that Cayetano should just Google his questions.

Former President Noynoy Aquino, photo from ABS-CBN
A few days after, he came back with another open letter, saying that he Googled the questions but instead of finding answers, it resulted to him having more questions.

Months after that open letter, Aquino still remains quiet with the issue.

Read full open letter below:

OPEN LETTER BY Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano TO FORMER PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino.

Rather than debate which administration is more transparent and/or mislead people on many facets of this complicated situation, may I respectfully request that you answer the questions on people’s minds and help enrich public discussion on the issue.

1. How did we lose control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012 during your watch?

2. Who made the decision to end the stand-off by ordering Philippine ships to leave, and on who’s advice?

3. Who was in command of the situation? Was it you, or Sec. Del Rosario or Sen. Trillanes?

4. Why didn’t you order the Philippine ships to return to the area when the Chinese ships did not leave as expected?

5. What exactly was Sen. Trillanes role and mandate? He made 16 trips to China as your emissary. Where are the reports and what were the agreements reached?

6. Who did Sen. Trillanes negotiate with in the back channel talks? Who else did you authorize for this mission?

7. Sen. Trillanes had refused to reveal the purpose and nature of his trips when asked during a senate session by then Sen. Enrile. Instead he walked out and invoked presidential prerogative so he would not be compelled to respond.

Since then, nothing has been heard of his secret trips. Why? How can you say it was transparent when the Embassy report was about only on one meeting?

8. We note that there seems to be a denial all around of any negotiated joint withdrawal of both Chinese and Philippine vessels from the shoal. Was there an agreement? Brokered by who? 9. What was the US commitment on the WPS issue, if any? And how was this relayed to you or was this discussed with you directly when you sat down with President Obama at one point in time?

10. What did you discuss with President Obama? He reportedly affirmed to Japan that the mutual defense treaty will be put into action if the Senkaku islands are threatened. Did Mr. Obama tell you that the US does not get involved with territorial disputes like in the WPS? How did you respond to that?

11. What are your plans or proposals for oil and gas exploration in the WPS? Do you agree that oil and gas exploration and development will be very beneficial to all Filipinos?

Our people await your response to these questions in earnest, to be fully informed finally of the background of our complicated situation. Your response will help us decide on how to proceed further in shaping our policy with China.

If, indeed, transparency is a important to you as you claim, then consider your early response to these questions as crucial.

Thank you, Sir. We will be awaiting your reply.

P.S. You often reminded our people that we need solutions and not just plain criticism. You are right about it. May we have your alternatives or proposals instead of merely criticizing the government today? Thank you.

Source: Showbiz Government