“The verbal agreement was recorded by an appropriate official during the bilateral meeting. The president said it explicitly,” Panelo said. The country`s highest court judge added that a Senate inquiry into the alleged deal would be an opportunity to determine exactly what was agreed between Duterte and Xi and whether Philippine law allows it. – Rappler.com Panelo called carpio-Morales and del Rosario`s assertion that the verbal fishing agreement was kept secret because the administration was “as transparent as possible” as “absurd”. He also said that such agreements are concluded especially when there are security issues that need to be resolved “quickly or slowly to avoid serious conflicts.” In addition, former Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said that any fisheries agreement reached by Duterte could not surpass the Constitution. READ: Sovereignty against sovereign rights: What do we have in West PH Sea?) Duterte again cited Unclos when he tried to justify allowing China to fish in Philippine waters and said that international law agreements should be concluded. MANILA – New Senator Francis Tolentino, who praised his expertise in international law, delivered his first keynote address to the Senate on Monday on President Rodrigo Duterte`s agreement with China. Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 1) – The agreement between the Philippines and China, which allows Chinese fishermen to operate in the Philippines` exclusive economic zone, is applicable despite the absence of a written agreement, President Sal Panelo`s spokesman said Monday. Duterte had previously stated that China was allowed to fish within the Philippine EEZ, particularly front (Reed) Bank.

Carpio argued that an agreement with the Asian giant was “wrong” because Chinese fishing boats would quickly harvest all the fish. “It`s always a verbal agreement, so we can always get out of it, but if the president mentions it in the SONA, confirm that it will be binding on us and that means that China can fish in an area at least 59 times larger than Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal,” Carpio said. In his speech, Tolentino said that “verbal agreements” between presidents are respected by international law. But as Duterte insisted on the fishing deal in a television interview with the religious leader, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, on Tuesday, July 16, Carpio said the Senate must now intervene. President Salvador Panelo`s spokesman said in a July 2 press release that, as part of the oral agreement, the Philippines would open its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to Chinese fishermen as long as China left Filipino fishermen intact in the Scarborough Shoal.