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Ramos accepts Duterte’s offer as PHL’s special envoy to China

Former President Fidel Ramos on Saturday night accepted President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to become the country's special envoy to China.

"Kaya natin ito!" Ramos told reporters as he confirmed that he has accepted the position during his two-hour meeting with Duterte at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

Ramos said that he accepted the offer after getting clearance from his doctors and his wife, Amelita "Ming" Ramos.

Duterte's peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, was also in the meeting.

Dureza was Ramos' spokesperson and presidential assistant for Mindanao when he was president.

In a testimonial dinner in San Juan City last July 14, Duterte revealed that he had asked Ramos to represent the country in negotiations on the territorial disputes with China.

Ramos declined to provide details of his role as special envoy to China.

He said this will be announced by Duterte or his Cabinet.

He said that during the meeting, he asked Duterte's policy position on the country's territorial dispute with China.

Ramos said that he wanted this clarified before he starts his actual mission to represent Duterte and the country in China.

Former presidents

Dureza said that the National Security Council (NSC) and key officials of Congress will meet with the security cluster of the Cabinet, that will be set after Duterte's first State of the Nation Address on Monday.

He said the NSC will provide suggestions and guidance on the Philippines action plan in talks with China.

Dureza said that former presidents will join the meeting, which will be arranged by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

The peace adviser declined to name the former presidents who will attend the meeting.

"This (meeting) will be held a few days after the SONA. So 'yung mga important issues confronting the nation will all be discussed and President Duterte will listen to the guidance, inputs, suggestions and recommendations nung mga former presidents and the other leaders of govertment who are now incumbent," Dureza said.

Meanwhile, Dureza said that Ramos will be given the discretion to choose people who will join his team for the mission.

"Sabi niya this is a long task that I will have to attend to so he needs also the support and assistance of others in his work," he said. —Ian Cruz/ALG, GMA News