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Press Release - Statement of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on claims on alleged PH-China deal oncerning BRP Sierra Madre

Minsan ko nang pinanindigan sa isang privilege speech na walang kasunduan o pangakong binitawan ang aking ama, ang dating President Joseph Estrada, sa pagtanggal ng BRP Sierra Madre sa Ayungin Shoal at ito'y pinatotohanan pa ng mga noo'y defense and security officials gaya ni dating Defense Sec. Orlando Mercado.

It's disappointing, to say the least, and utterly unacceptable for former presidential spokesman Harry Roque to make such baseless claims when he's not even privy to such information.

Ang mga ganitong pahayag, sa gitna ng mga lumalalang panggigipit at bullying na nararanasan natin sa China, ay nagpapalaganap lamang ng kalituhan at pagdududa sa integridad at kakayahan natin na ipaglaban ang seguridad ng ating bansa.

As I pointed out in my privilege speech last August, how is it possible that there was a period of relative "peace" in the West Philippine Sea during the nine-year Arroyo administration? The administration that succeeded my father was conspicuously "silent" and did not take any steps to claim our territorial rights concerning the West Philippine Sea.

Amid all these pronouncements, it's praiseworthy that the Marcos administration is taking concrete actions to protect our sovereign rights and territorial integrity. Any efforts made to address this ongoing and escalating aggression by China should be supported and encouraged.

We must remain firm and united in defending our sovereignty, and in safeguarding our maritime territories for the benefit of present and future generations. #