Pangilinan: China loan agreement ‘downright ridiculous and one-sided’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Monday refuted the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that a provision in the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project that allows China to seize the Philippines’ patrimonial assets in case of payment default is just “standard.”
Pangilinan said the provision “is downright ridiculous and one-sided.”
The loan agreement, which was signed on April 10, 2018, stated that “in case of default by the Philippines in repayment of the loan, China can seize, to satisfy any arbitral award in favor of China, ‘patrimonial assets and assets dedicated to commercial use’ of the Philippine government.”
“What I am saying is, the onerous conditions that some saying were incorporated in the contract is standard between the lender and borrower to be sure that the lender will be getting what they have lent to the borrower,” Panelo said.
Pangilinan, however, insisted that “it is not” standard.
“This and other pro-China provisions, such as China alone being the venue for settling disputes under the laws of China, is downright ridiculous and one-sided,” the senator said in a statement on Monday.
“No party in the private sector would propose or ever agree to such lopsided terms,” he added.
Pangilinan further explained that the contract, which was “entered into is manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” is “a corrupt practice under our anti-graft laws.”
“This should serve as a warning for all those who intend to pursue this project under such terms,” he added. /ee