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West Philippine Sea deal with China denied by Duterte

By: Charie Abarca - @inquirerdotnet - | April 12,2024 - 02:59 PM

West Philippine Sea deal with China denied by Duterte. Former President Rodrigo Duterte. MALACAÑANG FILE PHOTO / KING RODRIGUEZ

Former President Rodrigo Duterte. MALACAÑANG FILE PHOTO / KING RODRIGUEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte finally broke his silence over the deal he supposedly forged with China regarding the West Philippine Sea, and he denied making the deal.

Duterte said nobody – not even the Philippine President – “can concede anything of our territories.”

He said this in a press conference aired live on SMNI’s Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa’s page on Thursday night.

“Let me be very clear on this: 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, not involving the encroachment of China in our exclusive economic zone. Iba ‘yun,” he said.

“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 — na walang galawan. No movement, no armed patrols there. As is where is, para walang magkagulo… hindi tayo magkagulo,” he added.

READ: Duterte-China deal covers entire WPS not just Ayungin – Roque

The former chief executive said these are the only things he remembers, adding that he does “not even know the Ayungin Shoal.”

Duterte’s former spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the ex-president had a “gentleman’s agreement” with China – for the Philippines to refrain from bringing construction and repair materials to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

Asked if there’s truth to Roque’s statement, Duterte said: “As is where is nga. You cannot bring in materials to repair and improve — wala ‘yan.”

In the nearly two-hour long press conference, Duterte proceeded to lambast former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio whom he called stupid.

“Ang ayoko lang is even this stupid Ex-Justice Carpio is harping on a gentleman’s agreement [when] certainly he was not there. He’s beginning to expound on the consequences or the result or whatever wrong there was committed in the agreement,” said Duterte.

Carpio previously said the deal was “lopsided in favor of China,” adding that it was a “disguised surrender of our exclusive economic zone rights over Ayungin Shoal.”

READ: Carpio: Duterte gave up PH right over Ayungin in an agreement w/ China

Duterte then posed a challenge to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who previously admitted being horrified by the alleged Duterte-China deal.

“Stop complaining and expounding on it. Do it and repair [BRP Sierra Madre]. ‘Yan ang sasabi ko sa kanila. I challenge them – [dahil] sila naman ang nasa gobyerno ngayon, eh di i-repair nila.

Gumawa sila doon ng bahay-bahay kung saan if they are really ready for that,” the former president said.

Before he issued this challenge, Duterte insulted Marcos. Duterte said if there’s truth to such an agreement, he would have told the military.

“You should not keep anything secret when you are talking about national security. Año is there – he was my national security adviser. That’s also your adviser, Bongbong – ask him if there’s a gentleman’s agreement. I don’t want to insult you, but you started this – you could’ve called me. [Curses] you didn’t finish schooling. You only reached second year college,” said Duterte in mixed English and Filipino.

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TAGS: China, Duterte, West philippine Sea

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