Panelo rebuffs Colmenares: I have better things to do | Inquirer News
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CHINA LOANS DEBATE

Panelo rebuffs ‘desperate’ Colmenares: I have better things to do

By: - Reporter / @FMOrellanaINQ
/ 10:58 AM March 03, 2019
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Presidential spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo rejected on Sunday the challenge of Neri Colmenares to have a debate, saying he had “better things to do.”

Colmenares challenged Panelo on Saturday to a debate after the latter said that he was just seeking a media mileage when he raised issues about loan agreements between China and the Philippines.

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The President’s spokesperson also said that Colmenares was only raising issues to boost his candidacy since he was running in the race for the Senate.

READ: Colmenares dares Panelo to debate on PH loan agreements with China

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READ: Ex-lawmaker raises alarm over onerous’ China loan

 

However, Panelo said that “challenging a publicly visible government official to a debate attracts media attention.”

“Surely Mr. Neri Colmenares knows how to grab at a media op to improve on his fledgling candidacy,” Panelo said in a statement.

“He should be commended for that but I have better things to do than to provide him the forum he desperately needs,” he added.

Panelo also said that if Colmenares was not satisfied with his response over the China loan agreement for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, “he is free to go to court.”

“The issues he raised in the Chico River Pump Project have been squarely and adequately responded to by the economic managers as well as by this representation,” Panelo said.

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READ: DOF: China loan deal vetted vs graft

“If he is not satisfied with our responses he is free to go to the courts, as his usual style for media mileage, and we will be happy to oblige him there,” he said.

On Saturday, Panelo noted that the said agreement was studied and approved by the Interagency Committee composed of the Department of Justice, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Panelo also said that based on the report of the DOF, China provided a list of three contractors of good standing and the implementing agency was given the opportunity to vet and request for a replacement, if needed. /cbb

READ: Palace: Colmenares politicizing China loan agreement to seek media mileage

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TAGS: China loans, elections 2019, Neri Colmenares, News, Salvador Panelo, votePH
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