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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Too many excuses on Rody-Xi secret deal—PBBM

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President Ferdinand Marcos said the alleged “secret deal” between former president Rodrigo Duterte and Beijing on the West Philippine Sea has “many excuses”.

The President stressed during the presidential forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Monday that it is difficult to get answers relating to the “gentleman’s agreement”.

“We still have to find out what it is all about. I have tried to get in touch with former officials of the previous administration who could possibly have been involved in these discussions. And, I have to tell you, I haven’t gotten a straight answer out of anyone,” the President stated.

The President underscored that he has three questions as regards the secret deal: Is there such an agreement? What is contained in the secret agreement, and why is it secret?

“These are very simple questions, but I’m finding it difficult to arrive at the answers because I hear one thing, and another thing, and another thing. It’s all very… so many excuses,” the President explained.

“I am horrified by the idea that we have compromised into a secret agreement the territory, the sovereign rights of the Filipino,” the President also said.

On the other hand, Duterte refuted the claims of the alleged “secret deal” between him and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“There is no agreement, as is where it is,” he said during a late-night Thursday briefing.

He, however, said that he had talked with Xi about maintaining a “status quo” in the disputed region.

Meanwhile, Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday said the contradictory statements entered into by Duterte with China all the more requires the investigation of the Senate.

As a way to probe the gentleman’s agreement, Hontiveros proposed Senate Resolution No. 982.

Should the gentleman’s deal be proven true, Duterte’s actions to surrender the country’s sovereignty to China would thus be considered “treasonous,” she said.

According to Hontiveros, while this “sham of an agreement” handed over more ammunition to Beijing, especially in its assertions over the disputed territory, it likewise comes as an insult to the country’s sovereignty.

“Also, Duterte endangered our national security,” the senator said, making the Philippines look like a Chinese puppet, she added.

Hontiveros also responded to Duterte’s statement that the conditions at West Philippine Sea were better during his administration, reminding Filipinos that it was at the time when China passed the disastrous fishing ban against local fisherfolk.

It was also during that time when members of the Chinese Navy armed with missiles harassed Filipino journalists.

“The Philippines got nothing from China,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sen. Robin Padilla believes there is no need for a Senate hearing on Hontiveros’ resolution.

The actor-turned-senator said Duterte and President Marcos should keep their words between themselves so as not to reveal to China what they are doing.

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