China insists 'gentleman’s agreement' under Duterte administration

China insists ‘gentleman’s agreement’ under Duterte administration

/ 10:39 PM April 11, 2024

China insists 'gentleman’s agreement' under Duterte administration

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives his intervention as he joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, the Republic of Korea, People’s Republic of China and Japan during the special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Covid-19 video conference at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 14, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — China on Thursday insisted on the existence of a “gentleman’s agreement” made during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s tenure.

In a press conference, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning once again accused the Philippines of infringing on China’s territory, further claiming ownership of Ayungin Shoal — which it called Ren’ai Jiao.


Mao then accused the Philippines government of going back on its promise to “tow away” BRP Sierra Madre, but to note — Malacañang has already denied the existence of such promise.


READ: Palace doubles down: No promise to China to remove BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin

Apart from this, she also claimed that the Philippines is denying a so-called “gentleman’s agreement” with China.

“Second, the Philippines denies the existence of the gentleman’s agreement reached with China under the Duterte administration and has repeatedly infringed on China’s sovereignty in those waters and made provocations,” said Mao.

Mao’s remarks came after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that he is horrified by the idea that the country’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea might have been compromised by the so-called gentleman’s agreement between Duterte and China.

READ: ‘Horrified’ Marcos summons Chinese envoy over ‘secret pact’


Former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier claimed that Duterte’s “verbal agreement” with China indicated that the Philippines may only deliver water and food to the BRP Sierra Madre grounded in Ayungin Shoal, but not construction materials to be used for its repairs.

Roque, however, stressed that the verbal agreement made no mention of removal of BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin.

But Roque’s disclosure was denied by former presidential adviser Salvador Panelo who claimed that the former President “did not enter” any gentleman’s agreement.

“No such gentleman’s agreement whatsoever  per former President Duterte and from [former Defense Secretary] Delfin Lorenzana, [former Interior Secretary] Eduardo Año and me who were with him during the official visit to China,” Panelo told in a text message.

Ayungin Shoal, on the other hand, sits well within Philippine territory.

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“Ayungin Shoal is 423.30 nautical miles from the Paracels, and 617.39 nautical miles from the Chinese mainland – clearly beyond the 200 nautical miles maximum maritime entitlement for an exclusive economic zone under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said.

“China cannot, therefore, lawfully exercise sovereignty over it,” it added.

TAGS: China, gentleman's agreement, Rodrigo Duterte

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