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MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo called “baseless and unfair” the criticism aired by Vice President Leni Robredo and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales against the oil and gas development deal between the Philippines and China, speculating they didn’t read it before making negative comments.
Since the comments were likely not based on the actual agreement but “merely on media reports,” Panelo said those were proof that Robredo and Morales did not live up to the standards of the law profession.
“Sadly, disappointment comes to mind as expectations for their being trained in the law have not been reached. Legal minds are not only analytically exacting but judicious as well,” he said on Monday, November 26, in a statement.
Panelo insisted Robredo and Morales made their statements without seeing the copy of the deal since Malacañang had released it to the public only that morning. (DOCUMENT: Oil, gas development deal between Philippines, China)
Robredo had released a statement on Wednesday calling for transparency on the memorandum of understanding and for the Philippines to assert its 2016 legal victory over China in an international court.
She had also said, “Our sovereignty must not be compromised in any agreement we enter into with any country.”
But Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr had released a copy of the agreement on Thursday, November 22, or two days after the agreement was signed.
The copy Locsin shared in a CNN Philippines interview on Thursday exactly matches what Malacañang released on Monday.
On Saturday, November 24, Morales, in a Taguig forum, used a quote from Roman statesman Cicero to warn of “treason from within,” when it comes to defending Philippine rights over the West Philippine Sea. – Rappler.com