Trillanes asks Imee Marcos: Probe Duterte-China pact

Trillanes asks Imee Marcos: Probe Duterte-China pact about Ayungin Shoal

/ 12:38 PM April 01, 2024

Trillanes asks Imee Marcos: Probe Duterte-China pact about Ayungin Shoal

The BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, which is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Former Senator Sonny Trillanes IV is petitioning Senator Imee Marcos to launch an inquiry into the “gentlemen’s agreement” between former President Rodrigo Duterte and China regarding the West Philippine Sea. / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Sonny Trillanes IV is petitioning Senator Imee Marcos to launch an inquiry into the “gentlemen’s agreement” between former President Rodrigo Duterte and China regarding the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

His call followed ex-presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim that Duterte’s “verbal agreement” with China indicated that the Philippines may only deliver water and food to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, and not construction materials for the ship’s repair.

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It also came after the senator claimed that China’s incursion in the West Philippine Sea was exacerbated by the current administration’s pro-American stance. She likewise alleged that Trillanes along with former high-ranking officials of the country were “fooled” into believing that Americans would help the Philippines should China’s incursion persist.

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In a post on social media platform X, Trillanes urged Marcos to watch a video explaining his role as a “backchannel negotiator” between the Philippines and China in 2012 and maintaining he did not sell off Scarborough Shoal or Spartlys to Beijing.

READ: How Trillanes got his job as special negotiator for Scarborough Shoal standoff

He then told Marcos: “Better yet, I am requesting you, as the chairperson of the Senate foreign relations committee, to conduct an inquiry to shed light on the matter and also include Duterte’s secret deal with Ayungin.”

“Just to be clear, ang pagiging backchannel negotiator ay isang foreign policy tool ng isang bansa para malutas ang mga problemang hindi kayang malutas ng formal of front channel ng [Department of Foreign Affairs]. Hindi po ito illegal,” Trillanes further explained in a video embedded in his X post on Monday.

(Just to be clear, being a backchannel negotiator is a foreign policy tool of a country to solve problems that cannot be solved by the formal or front channel of the DFA. This is not illegal)

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On Sunday, March 31, Marcos said in an interview over DZBB: “Kasalanan din natin ito. Noong 2012 nagtiwala tayo – ‘yung nabola sina Sen. Trillanes at ating Presidente Noynoy noon.”

(It’s our fault too. In 2012, Sen. Trillanes and our then President Noynoy were tricked.)

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“Aba’y ewan ko kung sinong nabola o nagpadala na ‘yung mga Amerikano raw ay tutulong sa atin, eh biglang nawala natin ‘yung ilang claim natin. Naisahan tayo ng mga Intsik at inokupahan nang todo [ang Scarborough Shoal].”

(Well, I don’t know who got fooled that the Americans will allegedly help us, then we suddenly lost some of our claims. The Chinese duped us and completely occupied the Scarborough Shoal.)

For Marcos, the Duterte-China gentlemen’s agreement was only “practical” and “okay.”

But former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio previously said the Duterte-China pact was “lopsided in favor of China,” adding that it was a “disguised surrender of our exclusive economic zone rights over Ayungin Shoal.”

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Contrary to this, however, Marcos maintained that  “there was no treason” involved as Duterte “did not give away” the Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, which is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

has asked Marcos to comment on Trillanes’ request, but she has yet to respond as of posting time.

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, Imee Marcos

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