MANILA, Philippines – After critics, including former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, called on the administration to be transparent about the deals signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit, Malacañang promised the government would eventually release "pertinent information."
"We assure everyone that the government would release all pertinent information for public consumption once President Xi's visit has culminated," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday, November 21.
Xi flew out of Manila around 1:30 pm on Wednesday. The day before, he and President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the exchange of 29 documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding on Oil and Gas Development.
Panelo did not say specifically that copies of these documents would be released, choosing to speak in general terms.
But he said such "pertinent information" would be made public "as soon as the complete, proper, and correct documents become certified and available."
He asked for understanding from the public, especially media, that no copies of documents have been released yet, explaining that the Department of Foreign Affairs has been busy with the Wednesday activities of Xi.
"The Palace takes into account that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is the office of primary responsibility during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country, is still preoccupied with activities on Day 2 of the Chinese leader's visit," he said.
Few officials have given information about the oil and gas MOU. Rappler was able to gather more details about it from sources.
Del Rosario called for "full transparency" on the deal, reminding officials to "ensure that our Constitution is not violated and our tribunal outcome is not undermined." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.