Hontiveros pushes for Senate probe of ‘treasonous’ Duterte pact

Senate probe of ‘treasonous’ Duterte pact pushed

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros SENATE PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed a resolution on Wednesday urging the Senate to look into the supposed “gentleman’s agreement” between former President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“If confirmed to be true, this ‘gentleman’s agreement’ would be tantamount to a surrender of the Philippines’ sovereignty,” Hontiveros said in filing Senate Resolution No. 982.


“This ‘gentleman’s agreement’ is treasonous,” she said in a separate statement. “[This] sham of an agreement only gave Beijing more ammunition to assert its baseless [territorial] claims.”


READ: NSC: ‘Gentleman’s agreement’ on West PH Sea violates PH sovereignty


According to Hontiveros, the purported arrangement that Duterte had entered into with China prohibited the Philippines from repairing BRP Sierra Madre, the rusting, grounded warship that serves as the country’s military outpost in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

She pointed out that Duterte’s former spokesperson, Harry Roque, revealed that the former leader had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that only food and water would be brought to soldiers stationed there.

“By virtue of the said agreement, the Philippines effectively agreed to desist from bringing in construction materials to fortify the rusting and dilapidated Sierra Madre,” Hontiveros said.

Review needed

“Without repairs to the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II-era warship, the vessel would soon collapse and, in the words of former [Supreme Court Senior Associate] Justice Antonio Carpio, ‘end our presence in Ayungin Shoal,’” she added.

The opposition senator maintained that the agreement, which Roque claimed was only made verbally, should be reviewed after the National Security Council (NSC) said it was unaware of the alleged deal between Duterte and Xi.


The NSC, however, stressed that the Marcos administration would continue its resupply missions to soldiers stationed on Sierra Madre.

“Our commitment to maintain [BRP Sierra Madre] will always be there. Any attempt by China to interfere with resupply missions will be met by the Philippines in a fashion that protects our troops both doing resupply and those that are [on the shoal],” NSC spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said on Wednesday. WITH A REPORT FROM REUTERS

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, Risa Hontiveros, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate inquiry, Xi Jinping

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