PBBM is sole authority on West Philippine Sea agreements — DFA

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday, May 7, made it clear that only the President can approve any agreement on the West Philippine Sea as it dismissed the validity of the so-called new model that China has been citing.

DFA also confirmed that no Cabinet-level official of the current administration agreed to any proposal made by the Chinese side on the management of the sea row, particularly in the Ayungin Shoal.

“​The DFA wishes to emphasize that only the President of the Republic of the Philippines can approve or authorize agreements entered into by the Philippine Government on matters pertaining to the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea,” it said.

“As far as the Philippine Government is concerned, no such document, record or deal exists, as purported by the Chinese Embassy,” it added.

​On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry for the first time mentioned the new model, which the Chinese embassy in Manila has been talking about.

Lin Jian, the ministry spokesman, said there were three sorts of deals that the Philippines entered into with Beijing over the sea dispute.

These were the "gentleman's agreement," the "internal understandings" and the "new mode," with the last two being sternly dismissed as fake by various Philippine government agencies.

"China urges the Philippines to adhere to the basic norms on international exchanges, respect facts, honor its commitments, stop infringement and provocations and take concrete steps to come back to the right path of properly handling differences with China through dialogue and consultation," Lin said.

The Philippines also tagged China's claim as disinformation to create narrative and sow discord among Filipinos.