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Duterte denies he ‘conceded’ anything in WPS deal with China

By: Charie Abarca - | April 13,2024 - 06:00 AM
Duterte WPS deal

Former President Rodrigo Duterte. (MALACAÑANG FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Finally breaking his silence on the issue, former President Rodrigo Duterte denied “conceding” anything in the deal he supposedly forged with China on the West Philippine Sea.

In a press conference aired live on  the page of SMNI’s “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on Thursday night, Duterte said nobody – not even the Philippine President – “can concede anything of our territories.”

“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. That’s different,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino.

“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…  So we wont’t get into trouble,,” he added.

READ: Duterte-China deal covers entire WPS not just Ayungin – Roque Duterte said these were the only things he could remember, adding that he did “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 was truth to Roque’s statement about the Duterte WPS deal, the former President said: “As is where is as I said. You cannot bring in materials to repair and improve —  none of that.”

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

“What I don’t like 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,” Duterte said.

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]. “That’s what I’m telling them. I challenge them because they’re the ones in government now. So let them repair the ship. Let them make a shelter there, wherever, if they are really ready for that,” the former president said.

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

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

READ: PH, allies conduct joint maritime drills in WPS

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TAGS: China, Duterte, WPS

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