“Bato: Duterte My Friend but I am Anti-China”

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Senator Dela Rosa’s Stance on China’s Bullying in the West Philippine Sea

In a recent statement, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa expressed his unwavering support for former President Rodrigo Duterte while also highlighting his strong opposition to China’s bullying of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Dela Rosa’s remarks came during Senator Risa Hontiveros’ privileged speech, where she emphasized the need to investigate the claim made by the Chinese embassy in Manila regarding a supposed “gentleman’s agreement” between China and the Duterte administration. This agreement allegedly prohibited the repair of the BRP Sierra Madre and the construction of structures at Ayungin Shoal.

Senator Hontiveros raised important questions about the extent to which a past president can surrender the country’s right to fortify installations within its territories. These questions, she argued, require thorough examination and deliberation by the legislature. Dela Rosa, while declaring his support for Duterte, made it clear that he stands against China’s bullying in the West Philippine Sea. He emphasized his strong opposition to China’s actions, asserting that his heart and soul are firmly against China on this matter.

Senate President Zubiri Addresses Delayed Inquiry Allegations

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri responded to allegations that he was intentionally delaying the conduct of an inquiry into the reported gentleman’s agreement between China and Duterte. Zubiri clarified that the matter was referred to the Committee on Rules, and the chairman of the committee would make a decision on the issue.

Zubiri explained that the delay was not intentional but rather a result of time constraints and the desire to ensure a comprehensive examination of the topic. He stated that the majority leader wanted to study the issue further because other committees also expressed interest in discussing it. The goal was to find the appropriate referral for the topic, and Zubiri assured that the committee would address it promptly.

Senate Committees Involved

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Maria Josefa Imelda “Imee” Marcos, is responsible for overseeing matters related to the country’s foreign affairs. This committee plays a crucial role in examining and evaluating international agreements, treaties, and other diplomatic engagements.

On the other hand, the Committee on Rules, led by Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, is responsible for managing the legislative process. It determines the referral of bills and resolutions to the appropriate committees and ensures that the Senate’s procedures and rules are followed.

These two committees will play significant roles in addressing the issue of the alleged gentleman’s agreement between China and the Duterte administration. Their involvement will help shed light on the matter and provide a platform for thorough discussions and deliberations.


Senator Dela Rosa’s statement regarding his support for former President Duterte and his opposition to China’s bullying in the West Philippine Sea reflects the complexity of the issue at hand. The Senate, through the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Rules, will be instrumental in examining the alleged gentleman’s agreement and determining its implications for the country’s sovereignty.

As the inquiry progresses, it is crucial to maintain a balanced approach and consider the local laws, customs, and international perspectives. By doing so, the Senate can ensure that the investigation is comprehensive, fair, and in the best interest of the Filipino people.

Source: The Manila Times

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