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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Marcos slams Duterte’s ‘secret agreement’ with China

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday (Manila time) questioned the existence of a “secret agreement” purportedly forged by his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, with China regarding the Ayungin Shoal.

During a media interview in Washington, D.C., Mr. Marcos raised three crucial questions regarding the alleged agreement: its existence, contents, and the rationale behind its secrecy.

“Ano ba ang pinangako ng Duterte administration sa China? Dahil hindi pa natin alam eh kung – ngayon lang pa lang natin talaga – ngayon lang tayo nakakatiyak na mayroon talagang, mayroon pala talagang agreement. Tawag nila is gentleman’s agreement, tawag ko diyan, secret agreement,” the President told reporters.

He asked why Duterte, a seasoned lawyer, chose not to document, record, or publicly disclose the agreement.

“Now we need to know, what did you agree to? What did you compromise? What you gave out, why is our friend from China getting mad that we’re not following it,” the President said.  

Moreover, Mr. Marcos expressed readiness to engage in dialogue with Duterte to discuss foreign policy and government agreements concerning the South China Sea.

“Send them to me and then we’ll sit down. Send those documents to me. And then I’ll sit down and discuss it. I’ll do my homework for him. Just the way I work. I read all the materials first so when I’m in the conference, I can ask intelligent questions,” he added.

The President said that any deal involving another sovereign state should be known by the people, by the elected officials, and by the Senate, which ratifies treaties entered into by the government.

“It should be known by the local officials. It should be known by everyone. Because in that way you can… you are accountable. If it’s a bad decision, you’re accountable. Tell me, you guys did something wrong. Right? What are you hiding, why didn’t you say it? What are you hiding? Why was it secret?” he asked.

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