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5月8日のまにら新聞から

No cabinet-level official entered deal with China on Ayungin Shoal: DFA

[ 332 words|2024.5.8|英字 (English) ]

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said no cabinet-level official entered into an agreement with China linked to managing the situation at Ayungin Shoal.

In a statement released Tuesday, the DFA referred to its previous statement on May 5, emphasizing that only the President can approve or authorize agreements the government enters on matters concerning the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.

“In this respect, the DFA can confirm that no cabinet-level official of the Marcos Administration has agreed to any Chinese proposal pertaining to the Ayungin Shoal,” the agency said.

“As far as the Philippine Government is concerned, no such document, record or deal exists, as purported by the Chinese Embassy,” it added.

Meanwhile, National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said the so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” the country allegedly had with China was not worth investigating.

“No, it’s not worth investigating. Because the moment we investigate it, we continue to fall into the trap of China. The basis of this claim is simply the statement coming from the Chinese embassy. We don’t even know who they even talked to. All they say is they talked to AFP Wescom (Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command),” Malaya said in an interview with ANC.

“Now assuming, for the sake of argument that they talked to someone in the Wescom, the person, whoever he may be, a lieutenant, a captain does not have the authority to commit the government of the Republic of the Philippines into this so-called ‘new model’. So there is no rhyme or reason why we should pursue an investigation, because this will just continue the Chinese narrative which clearly seeks to sow division and weaken our resolve,” he added.

The “gentleman’s agreement” was previously revealed by former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, where former President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly had a verbal agreement with China that the government would only deliver food and water supplies to soldiers stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre anchored in Ayungin Shoal. Jaspearl Tan/DMS