Marcos raises eyebrows over Duterte-China 'secret agreement' on Ayungin Shoal

Marcos raises eyebrows over Duterte-China 'secret agreement' on Ayungin Shoal
Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he is baffled that a "secret agreement" was reached between former President Rodrigo Duterte and China over the Ayungin Shoal.

In a media interview in Washington D.C. on Friday, April 12, 2024, Marcos questions the Duterte administration over the promises he made with China.

“Ano ba ang pinangako ng Duterte administration sa China? Dahil hindi pa natin alam, e, 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,” Marcos said.

(What did the Duterte administration promise to China? Because we still don't know – until now, we've only just – only now can we really – only now are we sure that there is indeed, there really is, an agreement. They call it a gentleman's agreement; I call it a secret agreement.)

"So, now, 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, is what is contained in the second agreement?” the President added.

Marcos said he is prepared to sit down with the former chief executive to discuss foreign policy and the agreements made by the government concerning the South China Sea.

It was reported that the former leader claimed to possess documents related to China and is said to be reviewing all the agreements made during his administration.

“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,” Marcos said.

“So send me the materials, personally to me. ‘Wag na sa DOJ (Department of Justice), sa DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), sa akin. Padala n’ya sakin. Marami kaming common na kaibigan. Send them to me. Pag-aralan ko. Mag-usap kami kung gusto n’ya,” he added.

(So send me the materials, personally to me. Not to the DOJ, not to the DFA, to me. Send them to me. I have many common friends with him. Send them to me. I will study them. We can talk if he wants.)

The President also stated his opposition to entering into a secret agreement with China that might jeopardize the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He added that any agreement with another sovereign state should be made known to the people, elected officials, and the Senate, which ratifies government treaties.

Marcos also disregarded Duterte's criticism of naval patrols in the West Philippine Sea, saying that it holds “no place in this very important and very precarious discussion.”

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier sought for an investigation on the reported "gentleman's agreement" between Duterte and China, which supposedly restricted repairs on the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal.

Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution No. 982, saying that if the agreement is verified, it would equate to surrendering Philippine sovereignty.

"This 'gentleman's agreement' is treasonous. While China, in any case, will most likely attack our resupply missions en route to Ayungin, this sham of an agreement only gave Beijing more ammunition to assert her baseless claims. Kung totoo ang kasunduan, mukhang isinuko nga ni Duterte ang teritoryo ng Pilipinas," the senator said. (JGS/SunStar Philippines)


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