Filtered By: Topstories

Marcos defends VP Sara's 'silence' on WPS issue

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on defended the supposed silence of Vice President Sara Duterte on the issues regarding the West Philippine Sea.

WASHINGTON D.C. — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday defended the supposed silence of Vice President Sara Duterte on the issues regarding the West Philippine Sea and China's aggression. 

“It’s not the Vice President’s place... That’s not the role of the Vice President or the Secretary of Education to talk about China, so I think we are all in line,” Marcos said as he was asked whether he and Duterte are on the "same page" regarding the issue. 

“I’m very sure that if Inday Sara had some very serious misgivings about what we are doing in terms of foreign policies, she will bring them to me. And ang pinag-usapan nga namin, sabi niya ‘Basta ako, trabaho ng trabaho.’ That’s a good policy, so I don’t think it’s something to be concerned with,” added Marcos. 

Marcos’ remarks come as Duterte declined to comment when asked for a reaction regarding Beijing’s continued aggression in the area.

The President's defense of the vice president also comes amid the recent bickering between Marcos and his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte—Sara Duterte's father—on issues on the West Philippine Sea. 

Marcos previously said that he was "horrified" by his predecessor's supposed gentleman's agreement with China. 

''Ang sinasabi sa agreement na 'yan ay kinakailangan tayong magpermiso sa ibang bansa para gumalaw sa ating sariling teritoryo. Mahirap siguro sundan 'yang ganyang klaseng agreement," Marcos said in an ambush interview.

(What that agreement is saying is that we need to seek permission from another country to move in our own territory. That kind of agreement is hard to honor.)

"I am horrified by the idea that we have compromised into a secret agreement the territory, the sovereign rights of the Filipino,'' he added.

Former President Duterte, meanwhile, called Marcos a  "cry baby"  for allegedly being pro-United States.

''You are a crybaby, always America, America, America... And you call yourself, you call our place Republic of the Philippines?'' Duterte said of Marcos.

The former president also maintained that he conceded nothing to China during his administration.

"The only thing I remember was that status quo. That's the word... No movement, no armed patrols there. As is, where is, para hindi tayo magkagulo," said the elder Duterte.

China has refused to acknowledge the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling that invalidated its nine-dash line. Its government earlier said it will continue to adhere to what it described as a “friendly consultation” with the Philippines after several Chinese vessels have been found “swarming” areas in the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos is currently in the US where he had a trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The three leaders discussed their common vision for the Indo-Pacific region, and opportunities for enhancing trilateral cooperation across various areas of mutual interest. —VAL, GMA Integrated News