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Monday, May 27, 2024

PBBM to Duterte: Send ‘secret deal’ papers

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Says Duterte admin should be accountable for deal with China

President Marcos on Saturday told his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, to turn over all documents related to the latter’s “secret deal” with China on Ayungin Shoal.

Both Duterte and the Chinese embassy in Manila confirmed the “gentleman’s agreement” but the former president denied “conceding” anything in the deal.

“Send them to me personally and then we’ll sit down. Send those documents to me. I’ll do my homework for him. I read all the materials first so when I’m in the conference, I can ask intelligent questions,” Mr. Marcos said in an interview in Washington.

“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?”

“With the confirmation of the Chinese Embassy, we now know that there was a secret agreement. Now, this is the second question that I have – what is contained in the agreement? What did the Duterte administration promise to China? Because we don’t know yet,” the President added.

He said the Filipino people, elected officials, and the Senate, which is in charge of ratifying treaties entered into by the government, must be aware of any deals entered into by the government with another sovereign state.

“In that way, you are accountable. If it’s a bad decision, you’re accountable. Let’s say the decision was wrong – What are you hiding? Why was it secret?” Mr. Marcos said.

Duterte said his discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping only focused on maintaining the status quo in the West Philippine Sea.

“Aside from the fact of having a handshake with President Xi Jinping, the only thing I remember was that status quo. That’s the word — no movement. No movement, no armed patrols there. As is, where is, so that there’s no trouble,” Duterte said Thursday evening.

“We have not conceded anything to China. There might have been [an] exchange of control over the China Sea to those who are really territorial in nature, [but] not involving the encroachment of China in our exclusive economic zone. That’s different,” he added

Duterte also confirmed the statement of his former spokesperson, Harry Roque, that the Philippines committed to refrain from bringing construction and repair materials to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

“As is where is as I said. You cannot bring in materials to repair and improve — none of that,” the former President said.

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