Palace dismisses Sison’s rant on latest PRRD trip to China

MANILA MalacaAang shrugged off the remark made by self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison that President Rodrigo Duterte's raising the arbitral ruling before Chinese President Xi Jinping was a purposeless exercise.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would rather prioritize more important matters rather than respond to another arrant raving and incorrigible ranting from Sison.

The Duterte presidency is engrossed in its constitutional duty of serving and protecting the Filipino people, that it has no time to waste in responding to the latest anti-Duterte statement of Jose Maria Sison, other than saying that it is another arrant raving and incorrigible ranting coming from an aging armchair passe rebel whose illusory vision has outsprinted the ticking hands of time, Panelo said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier, Panelo bared Duterte invoked the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling rejecting China's claims on the West Philippine Sea but Chinese President Xi Jinping was firm on his stand not to recognize it.

Panelo said despite Xi's refusal to recognize the arbitral ruling, the Chinese leader vowed to avoid provocative acts in the disputed sea.

Duterte and Xi also agreed to fast-track negotiations for the completion of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

In a statement, Sison said Duterte had once again surrendered sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea in exchange for China's ostentatious imperial reception.

Duterte merely went through the motions of bringing up the decision of the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in his discussion with Xi. In the end, it was a purposeless exercise, Sison said.

Sison also claimed that Duterte's Cabinet also entered into various lopsided agreements with China.

The worst among these is the plan to push through with the 'joint plan' to explore and exploit the oil resources in the area just off Reed Bank, Sison said, noting that this would allow China to take full control of the oil drilling operations.

The communist leader also criticized the USD3.5-billion loan which involved the construction of the Manila-Bicol railway system and the agreement which will give China an increased role in Philippine customs.

Last April, Duterte ordered the Office of the Solicitor General, the Department of Justice, and all legal departments to review all contracts entered into by the government with private corporations and/or countries including the controversial Chinese loan agreements.

Panelo said the review will determine whether there are onerous provisions in the contract that would put the Philippines in a disadvantage or would violate the Constitution. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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