Carpio: Duterte surrenders PH’s Ayungin rights in China agreement

By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - | March 30,2024 - 09:46 AM

Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Former President Rodrigo Duterte. (INQUIRER and PRESIDENTIAL file photos)

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Rodrigo Duterte gave up the Philippines’ ownership of Ayungin Shoal under the guise of a “gentlemen’s agreement” with China, former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has revealed.

The “gentlemen’s agreement” governs Manila’s maintenance and repair of the BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine Navy vessel grounded in the disputed area.

According to Duterte’s “status quo” agreement, the Philippine vessel may only deliver water and food to Sierra Madre, but not construction materials for its repairs.

READ: Ex-President Duterte, China had deal to keep WPS status quo – Roque

Carpio said the agreement favoring China violated the July 12, 2016 Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling recognizing Ayungin Shoal as part of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Under the Arbitral Award, China had no right to erect any structure on Ayungin Shoal and had no right to stop the Philippines from conducting activities in the area.

READ: Marcos warns of countermeasures in response to Chinese aggression at sea

“President Duterte knew that without repairs, the BRP Sierra Madre would soon collapse and, thus, end our presence in Ayungin Shoal,” Carpio said in a text message.

“Yet Duterte agreed, in a concession to China, that the Philippines could only bring food and water to BRP Sierra Madre and would not bring materials to repair the Sierra Madre,” he noted.

READ: PH gears up new game plan in Ayungin missions

“Duterte’s ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ was lopsided in favor of China… That “gentlemen’s agreement” was a disguised surrender of our EEZ rights over Ayungin Shoal as it gave China veto power over our exclusive right to erect structures on Ayungin Shoal,” the former Supreme Court Justice explained.



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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte

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