Gentleman's pact: Castro wants to get info straight from Duterte
After some past admin officials snub discussions

Gentleman’s agreement: Castro wants to get info straight from Duterte

/ 01:18 PM May 20, 2024

Former President Rodrigo Duterte should be invited to the congressional probe on the gentleman’s agreement supposedly brokered to maintain status quo over Ayungin Shoal, as current government officials are not aware of the said deal.

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro and Former President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte should be invited to the congressional probe on the gentleman’s agreement supposedly brokered to maintain the status quo over Ayungin Shoal, as current government officials are unaware of such a deal.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said this on Monday during the House of Representatives committee hearing on national defense and security and the West Philippine Sea committee, noting that Duterte participated in crafting the gentleman’s agreement.


Aside from Duterte, Castro said a representative from the Chinese embassy should be present.


“I will put that in motion, Mr. Chair, that we should invite those who engaged in the secret agreement, most importantly, former president Duterte who mentioned this […] that’s why he should be here,” Castro said.

“What we need is for former president Duterte to show up and the Chinese embassy, a representative of the Chinese embassy who knows about the agreement, Mr. Chair,” she added.

The special committee on the West Philippine Sea chairperson and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II suggested that all resource persons be allowed to state their positions first and reveal any knowledge of the gentleman’s agreement before specific individuals are summoned to the House probe.

“May I suggest, however, that before any motion for that matter be acted upon by the committee, can we first take advantage of the presence of the resource speakers who are here?  Number one, are we already in agreement that there is an agreement?  Or do we have, can we ask them what kind of agreement can bind the government?” Gonzales said.

“Because it seems we are already saying that there is an agreement and yet that is something yet to be established eh.  And even assuming that there is such an agreement — which some had already said ‘oral agreement’ — is that kind of agreement an agreement that will bind the government considering that in our Constitution it’s very restrictive eh,” he added.


Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul Tupas, vice chair of the national defense committee, agreed with Gonzales and held Castro’s motion in abeyance.

Several current officials from the security cluster and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) were present at the hearing, but all of them have maintained that they are unaware of any gentleman’s agreement.

Meanwhile, past administration officials, particularly former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea, former Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and former national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., were also invited to the hearing, but only Medialdea sent a representative and an explanation as to why he could not attend.

Tupas directed the committees’ secretariat to re-invite the past administration officials who did not attend Monday’s hearing.

On Monday, the two House panels started their probe in response to House Resolution (HR) No. 1684 and the privilege speech from 1-Rider party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez on the Chinese embassy’s alleged interference with local politics.

The committees will resume probing the issue on Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.

READ: Ex-President Duterte, China had deal to keep WPS status quo – Roque 

Talks about the gentleman’s agreement first came out after Duterte’s former presidential spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque, confirmed to reporters last March 27 that Duterte and China had a deal to maintain the status quo in the Ayungin Shoal.

Roque mentioned this when asked why China has been so aggressive when Philippine vessels are trying to conduct resupply missions to troops stationed in BRP Sierra Madre, a Navy ship deliberately ran aground Ayungin Shoal.

The former spokesperson surmised that China may have been acting this way because the Philippines is no longer maintaining the agreement, although he himself admitted that the deal was non-binding and cannot apply under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s term.

READ: Duterte-China West PH Sea ‘deal’: Panelo willing to face probe over it 

Roque’s claim was eventually countered by another former Duterte spokesperson — ex-chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, who said the ex-president did not enter into such an agreement with China.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: Ex-president Duterte, China confirm pact not to repair PH outpost 

Duterte eventually admitted that there was a status quo gentleman’s agreement with China, that it was about not repairing BRP Sierra Madre.

TAGS: China, gentleman's agreement, Rodrigo Duterte

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.