South China Sea deal with Xi Jinping: Why ex-Philippine President may face treason charges

Apr16,2024



New Delhi: Former President of the Philippines rodrigo duarte Facing intense scrutiny and calls for legal action over a controversial issue.gentleman's consent“With the Chinese President Xi Jinping About South China Sea, Critics, including former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Senator Risa Hontiveros, are accusing Duterte of committing treason by potentially seizing the Philippines' territorial rights in the region.
In a recent press briefing, Duterte refused to give up any territorial claims, but accepted a deal with Xi to maintain the status quo by not building new facilities in the disputed waters. The agreement reportedly prevented the Philippines from sending construction materials to strengthen the BRP Sierra Madre. The South China Morning Post reports that a warship is stationed at the Second Thomas Shoal, which is essential for Philippine sovereignty.
Carpio criticized the agreement, highlighting the warship's poor condition and risk of sinking due to lack of repairs. Duterte responded to the criticism by suggesting that Carpio should not interfere in matters he was not a part of.
Political analyst Sherwin Ona and Senator Hontiveros have expressed concern over the lack of transparency and possible violation of national interest in the agreement. Ona pointed to the suspicious nature of the deal, which lacks any written, video or audio evidence, while Hontiveros filed a motion demanding an investigation into the matter, calling the deal “treasonous”.
The controversy has also attracted the attention of current President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who has expressed concern that Duterte may have concealed aspects of the deal. Marcos stressed the need for Duterte to clarify what was agreed upon and the reasoning behind it.
Ramon Beleno III of Ateneo de Davao University defended Duterte, arguing that the agreement was intended to reduce bilateral tensions. However, he acknowledged that Duterte's inaction after the situation normalized has created significant issues, especially as China now appears to be using the agreement to justify increasing aggression in the South China Sea.
Chinese officials have recently demanded the removal of BRP Sierra Madre from the Second Thomas Shoal, a demand that reiterates the ongoing tension and complexity of the dispute over sovereignty in the South China Sea.



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