MANILA, Philippines – Hinamon ni Senador Jinggoy Estrada ang China na pangalanan ang sinumang opisyal ng Pilipinas na nangako sa pagtatanggal ng BRP Sierra Madre sa Ayungin Shoal.
Sa press briefing, sinabi ni Estrada na nakipag-usap siya kay dating senador Orly Mercado, na walang kasunduang ganito sa pagitan ng China at Pilipinas sa administrasyon ni dating President Joseph Estrada.
Nagsilbi si Mercado bilang defense secretary sa Estrada administration.
“This renders the debate about the possible promise made during former President Joseph Estrada’s tenure to the Chinese government irrelevant. But during my phone conversation today with former senator and former defense Secretary Orly Mercado who held the position of defense secretary during my father’s tenure – he confirmed that there was no agreement or promise whatsoever made to the Chinese government,” ayon kay Sen. Estrada.
Ayon sa senador, dahil walang konkretong ebidensiya, mistulang tsismis o hearsay lamang ang alegasyon ng China maliban kung papangalanan nito ang opisyal na nakipagkasundo sa kanila.
“If he indeed made that promise, bakit hindi yung mga succeeding administrations after my father if that is really binding – and this is all hearsay. This is only hearsay. The Chinese government had made press releases that was made verbally – this will not stand even in court because these are all hearsay. Name names, because we’re also at a loss kung sino talaga ang nangako,” dagdag niya.
Sinabi pa ni Jinggoy na taliwas din ang pahayag ng China sa tunay na dahilan kung bakit nasa Ayungin Shoal ang BRP Sierra Madre.
“Any assertion of such a commitment contradicts the rationale behind the government’s decision that time to station BRP Sierra Madre at the shoal. This move was primarily undertaken to assert our country’s claim and establish her presence in the area. And I confirmed that it was during the time of my father that he instructed our (Philippine) Navy or our Armed Forces of the Philippines to station BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal,” ayon kay Sen. Estrada.
“President Bongbong Marcos has already spoken and declared last week that he had rescinded that arrangement or agreement if there was such an agreement concerning the removal of BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal. And as the chief architect of foreign policy – President Marcos is firmly committed to keeping the Navy Ship at the Shoal which is an ambiguously within the Philippines territorial boundaries,” giit pa niya.
“No other country should have the power to dictate our actions regarding this territory. President Marcos’ firm stance not to remove BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal demonstrates his unwavering dedication to protecting the Philippines’ sovereignty over the area and our right to determine the ship’s fate,” dagdag ng mambabatas.
Pinabulaanan din ni Estrada ang pananaw ni dating Ambassador Roberto Tiglao, isang kolumnista na nagsasabi ng impormasyon na mayroong kasunduan ang China at Pilipinas hinggil sa Ayungin Shoal.
“I do not know where former ambassador Tiglao got that information. I do not have any idea. I think it is quite illogical for me if former president Estrada instructed our Armed Forces or our Navy to stationed BRP Sierra Madre and at the same time commit that he’s going to remove the ship anytime or committed to the Chinese government. I think that’s illogical,” aniya. Ernie Reyes