Presidents spokesman Harry Roque issued a statement on April 23, 2021, saying that President Duterte never entered into a verbal fishing agreement with Chinese President Xi. Roque said: There is no truth in the speculation of an alleged verbal fishing deal between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping xxx. This is without merit and is simply a guess. Roque called on the president’s critics to stop making malicious speculations and false claims to needlessly inflame the situation.
The undeniable fact is that President Duterte himself has repeatedly announced to the Filipino people that he has entered into a verbal fishing agreement with President Xi. After a Chinese fishing vessel crashed into the Philippine fishing vessel F / B Gem-Ver 1 in the Western Philippine Sea (WPS) on June 9, 2019, President Duterte justified the presence of the Chinese fishing vessel in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). . President Duterte revealed that he forged a verbal fisheries agreement with President Xi in October 2016. When addressing the Presidential Security Group on June 26, 2019, President Duterte recounted his verbal agreement with the President Xi: It was a mutual agreement. Bigayan tayo seat. Ka doon fish, ako dito fish.
President Duterte reiterated this verbal fishing agreement when he appeared on Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s TV program on July 17, 2019. The President said: As far as I am concerned, I am the owner and I am only giving the fishing rights. Galit sila kung bakit ko daw pinapaisda. In his State of the Nation address on July 22, 2019, the president explained his verbal fishing agreement with President Xi: When Xi says I’m going to fish, who can stop him? In addition, the President said in his Sona, They (the Chinese) have been fishing there since time immemorial. President Duterte mistakenly believed that traditional fishing applies to the EEZ when in reality it only applies to the territorial sea and archipelagic waters, and only if accepted by coastal states or ordered by an international tribunal. Recently on April 19, 2021, in a late-night televised address to the nation, President Duterte again referred to the verbal fishing agreement when he said the agreement did not include drilling for oil or gas. The president said: “How to do oil drilling in China, sabihin ko talaga in China”, is that part of our agreement? Because if it’s not in our deal, I’m going to drill my oil there as well.
The president’s chief presidential legal adviser, Salvador Panelo, affirmed the existence of the verbal fisheries agreement when he found it legally binding. On July 1, 2019, Panelo said: Even in the law, even if it is verbal, it is valid and binding as long as there is mutual consent of both parties. That’s why it’s a deal. Allied Senate Presidents also affirmed the existence of the verbal fishing agreement and defended its legality. Senator Francis Tolentino delivered a privileged address on July 24, 2019, stating: President Duterte may validly enter into legally binding international oral agreements with other states for and on behalf of the Philippines. xxx Thus, oral obligations are binding, as long as it is clear from the language used that there is an intention to be bound.
President Dutertes’ men, however, are not unanimous on whether the verbal fishing agreement is legally binding, although they do not dispute the fact that the president entered into a verbal fishing agreement with the president. Xi. Cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said: Unless it is formally translated into writing, this is just a deal to become good neighbors. Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. said: Verbal agreement cannot be forced upon us, it is verbal. You need a document to prove an agreement. It’s like that.
It cannot be denied that President Duterte in fact entered into a verbal fishing agreement with President Xi allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippine EEZ in the WPS. President Duterte himself has said this on several occasions. Presidential spokesman Roque, however, vigorously denies that his principal, President Duterte, made such a verbal fishing deal with President Xi. Now who is telling the truth and who is lying to the Filipino people, President Duterte or his spokesperson Roque?
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