Locsin's rejection of Japanese property sale his "personal opinions" - Palace
Malacanang is considering the opposition of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on the planned sale of Philippine properties in Japan as his "personal opinions."
In a televised press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated the Palace's position that selling of government properties in Japan is not a decision by the executive branch alone, but of Congress as well.
"Those are personal opinions of Secretary Locsin, but what I said during the last press briefing, the sale of our properties in Japan won't come only from the President (Rodrigo Duterte). There's also a need for the concurrence of our Congress," he said.
Last Tuesday, Locsin renewed his position that he would not agree to the sale of the Philippine properties in Japan.
He instead proposed to sell assets of other government agencies, such as the departments of Budget and Management and of Health and the Bureau of Treasury to fund the coronavirus responses.
The foreign affairs chief even suggested to sell the San Lazaro Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or "rob" the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
In a recent televised message, Duterte said he would sell the government properties in Japan to finance PhilHealth, which was projected to run out of funds in the next few years amid massive corruption allegations.
The Philippine properties given by the Japanese government under Reparation Agreement include the Roponggi and Nampeidai properties in Tokyo and the Noniwacho and Obanoyama in Kobe. Celerina Monte/DMS