Lawmaker wants jail time for ex-officials behind alleged China deal

By Zaldy De Layola

May 20, 2024, 8:59 pm

MANILA – Former government officials behind the alleged “gentlemen’s agreement” with China should be held accountable if the supposed secret deal is proven true.

Taguig City 2nd District Rep. Amparo Maria Zamora on Monday said they must be put behind bars.

“Pagka talaga natukoy na natin kung sino talaga ‘yung behind, ‘yung mga taong (Once we identify who really are the persons) behind this so-called gentleman's agreement, we should hold all of them accountable. We should put them in jail,” she said in press conference at the House of Representatives following the start of the probe on the alleged agreement allegedly made to maintain the status quo in Ayungin shoal.

Incumbent Departments of Foreign Affairs and Defense department officials who attended the hearing all denied the existence of a gentleman’s agreement.

Lawmakers also have expressed disappointment over the absence of former Duterte administration officials invited to the hearing.

Zambales 1st District Rep. Jefferson Khonghun, author of the resolution called for the probe, said there is need to ferret out the truth.

“Nakaka-apekto rin ito sa administration ng ating Pangulong Bongbong Marcos. Bilang Kongreso, ang komite ay may oversight functions so kailangan talaga silang pumunta. Gagawin lahat ng komite upang mag-attend ‘yung inimbitahan na mag-attend (This affects the administration of President [Ferdinand R.] Bongbong Marcos [Jr.]. As Congress, the committee [on National Defense and Security] has an oversight function, so they really need to attend. The committee will do everything [legal] to compel those invited to attend),” he said. (PNA)