Panelo on acting as China’s counsel: I’m trained to dissect situation for rational study

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“As a lawyer I have been trained to dissect a situation, to arrive at an intelligent and rational study of the whys and wherefores of a subject of an inquiry,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador Panelo said in a statement after Senator Panfilo Lacson said in an interview that it seems the presidential spokesperson is lawyering for China.

He said that it appears that the senator “is smarting from a response I made to his proposal to invoke the Mutual Defense pact with the US in relation to the Reed Bank incident.”

“He said that we didn’t have to wait for an armed aggression to take place before we invoke its application. I shot down the proposal by saying that the treaty cannot apply, simply because there is no armed aggression committed by China, adding that it was reckless and premature because we do not know yet what happened at the Reed Bank,” Panelo said.

He noted that “by way of a reaction to my adverse commentary, Senator Panfilo Lacson was quoted as saying that I was speaking like I was a defense lawyer of China.”

“He went on to say that I was excited pointing to some holes in the fisherman’s version of the incident, thus from his perception giving the appearance of me lawyering for the Chinese fishermen,” he said.

“The perception that my pointing out of certain circumstances surrounding the Reed Bank incident previously unknown to us, creates the impression that I’m acting as China’s counsel, is sheer non sequitur as well as a shallow analysis of my examination of the incident,” Panelo explained.