The Daily Manila Shimbun, the Philippine Daily Inquirer,and GMA 7 report on the rather disastrous turn of events for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) when it defended the JPEPA during the first hearing for the agreement's ratification in the Philippine Senate.
In separate media interviews after the hearing, Senators Enrile,Defensor-Santiago, Roxas said that the government was unable to make a sound defense of the JPEPA. Senator Roxas was "underwhelmed." The Junk JPEPA Coalition was more prepared than the government officials, according to Senator Defensor-Santiago. This was despite the fact that there was a full ensemble of top government officials defending the JPEPA (Secretary Favila, Usec Aquino, Secretary Gary Teves,etc)versus only one from the Magkaisa Junk JPEPA COalition: Atty Golda Benjamin of the alternative legal group IDEALS.Senator Enrile said that the pro-JPEPA panel was resorting to scare tactics to bully the senators to vote for JPEPA, the agreement's merits being incomprehensible to ordinary Filipinos.
Also, the invited Japanese panelist, the VP of the Japanese chamber of commerce, did not help the case of the pro-JPEPA panel, with senators pouncing on his casual remark that the Philippines "does not have a good image" in Japan. Senators Gordon and Enrile asked if JPEPA will improve that image and bring in the investments from Japan.
You can see the report of GMA 7 below:
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