Sen. Marcos backs Duterte-China 'deal', says critics 'OA' | Inquirer News

Sen. Marcos backs Duterte-China ‘deal’, says critics ‘OA’

/ 06:34 PM March 31, 2024

Sen. Imee Marcos chides critics of ex-pres. Duterte's 'secret deal' with China

Senator Imee Marcos  (Noy Morcoso/ file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday called the critics of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s “gentleman’s agreement” with Beijing as exaggerated or  “OA” (over acting).

Sen. Marcos, who is the chairperson of the Senate committee on foreign relations, said former president Duterte’s agreement with Beijing is simply “practical” since he asked China to allow Filipino troops to deliver water and food to the BRP Sierra Madre.


BRP Sierra Madre is a grounded World War II-era ship which serves as the country’s remote outpost in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.


“Nako naman, exag naman. OA (over acting) naman yata ang reaction nila,” she said in a dzBB interview, referring to the former chief executive’s detractors who claimed that the agreement with China basically meant that Ayungin Shoal was handed over to Beijing.

(They’re exaggerating. They appear to be over acting.)

Government officials and lawmakers criticized Duterte’s supposed verbal agreement with China, with former Senator Leila de Lima pointing out that the agreement was kept secret from the public.

“For me, it’s just practical to have an agreement where they (Filipinos) are allowed to bring bring food [and] necessities for Filipinos there,” Marcos said in Filipino and English.

“For me, the agreement with Duterte is okay, there was no treason, he did not give away (Ayungin). There was just an agreement for a peaceful delivery of goods,” she added

But the she noted that since the shift of the government to her brother, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., China lost trust in the Philippines because of Manila’s sudden pro-American stance.


“(They said) we were suddenly pro-American. (It was) a 360-degree turn in the Marcos administration after Duterte, causing tensions to rise. The position is now anti-China,” she said.

 “Instead of being able to smoothly send water and food, what happened now is they’re not allowing them to go anymore, because they suspect construction materials, cement [are delivered] and that (we) are making permanent the BRP Sierra Madre,” Sen. Marcos noted.

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On March 23, the Chinese Coast Guard fired water cannons at a Philippine supply vessel on its way to Ayungin Shoal for a rotation and resupply mission, causing “heavy damage” to the boat — the latest in Beijing’s string of “dangerous” actions in the disputed waters.

TAGS: Imee Marcos, Rodrigo Duterte

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