July 9, 2015
Malacanang is defensive in Atty. Roque’s question
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-PILIPINAS) chided Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on his answer to Atty. Harry Roque’s question about the 35 delegates who come to The Hague, the Netherlands to present the Philippines claims in the West Philippine Sea before the Arbitral Tribunal.
In a statement, the PAMALAKAYA Vice Chairperson Salvador France said Lacierda should answer Atty. Roque in a professional manner instead of an immature answer like calling Roque a K.S.P. (Kulang Sa Pansin).
“Atty. Roque was right for questioning why the government should spend millions for the 35 delegates when only two in the government would actually argue before the Arbitral Tribunal. I think the other 33 government officials have nothing to do with the international maritime law.” France said.
“We are just wondering by the presence of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte in the Arbitration, are they an internationl law expert?” France asked.
PAMALAKAYA also questioned the presence of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista in the arbitration when Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin is already there for the issue on the country’s defense.
“The representatives in the arbitration are doubled. Valte doesn’t need to be part of the delegation because Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa is already there, same as Bautista.” France said.
Lacierda should explain their side instead of saying that Roque is just politicking because of his affiliation with Vice President Jejomar Binay and for his plan to run to Senate in 2016.
“There’s nothing wrong with asking questions especially that the money used for their trip came from the taxes of Filipino people. The Filipino people deserve an explanation coming directly from Malacanang why and how much they spent for the week-long vacation of the government officials in The Hague, the Netherlands.” France ended.