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Assertion on Duterte’s ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with China exaggerated – Imee

MANILA, Philippines — There was a bit of exaggeration in the assertion of retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio that former president Rodrigo Duterte gave up the Philippines’ ownership of Ayungin Shoal under the guise of a “gentlemen’s agreement” with China, according to Sen. Imee Marcos.

As chairperson of the Senate committee on foreign affairs, Marcos said that Duterte’s agreement with China was not the first time and the deal was more practical to ensure a smooth resupply mission for the basic necessities of those at the shoal.

“Exag (exaggeration), their reactions are OA (overacting), this is not the first time (having an) agreement, if there is an agreement. The former president’s talk (with China) about BRP Sierra Madre, was more on practicality. The agreement was only practical to let the needs of the Filipinos there be brought food,” Marcos said in an interview over dzBB.

“To me, the conversation (between Duterte and China) was fine, there was no treason. It was agreed to let it be peaceful and bring the needs. If you put the life of a soldier or official in danger, you are irresponsible officials. Let’s not put Filipino lives in danger,”” she added.

Former defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino could provide more accurate details about the deal, according to the senator.

She pointed out the fact that Duterte talked to China to not disturb the resupply mission was a good thing.

“The deal was for them to stop disturbing the Filipinos who bring clothes, food, and necessities of the soldiers there. The deal was don’t beat and harass them (resupply mission), the Chinese agreed,” Marcos said.

She agreed that the issue between the Philippines and China is trust as the administration of President Marcos has a policy extremely opposite to that of Duterte.

“Now, China’s doubt is because they don’t trust us, EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) says that we are suddenly too pro-American, U-turn Marcos administration after Duterte, it’s getting heated. Instead of being able to safely send water, what happened is that food is not being sent now, because their doubt is construction materials cement and