April 17, 2024 People's Journal 68 views

FORMER Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has been silent on the alleged secret agreement between the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte and China regarding the issue of the BRP Sierra Madre in the West Philippine Sea.

Cayetano’s name is currently in the spotlight after being pointed out by Harry Roque, former spokesperson for President Duterte, as the one who truly knows about the agreement between the Philippines and China.

According to Roque, the alleged agreement prohibits the transportation of repair materials, allowing only water and food supplies to the stranded BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal to avoid issues in the relationship with China.

The purported “secret agreement” is said to be the reason why China continues to aggressively attack Philippine ships in the West Philippine Sea.

In a media forum, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. emphasized the crucial role of the media in revealing the truth about the disputed territory, where the Philippines has long experienced illegal, aggressive, and irresponsible actions by China in the West Philippine Sea.

President Marcos stressed that everything must be done to defend the territory, sovereignty, and national interest of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

The BRP Sierra Madre is a World War II era tank that was deliberately stationed by the Philippine Navy at Ayungin Shoal in 1999 to serve as a military outpost and symbol of the Philippines in the disputed territory.

Despite the 2016 decision by the international arbitration tribunal in The Hague that China has no legal basis for claims in the WPS, the decision continues to be rejected by China.