President not giving up on sea claims, Palace insists


MALACAÑANG on Wednesday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte is not giving up the country’s claim over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) following his statement that he would set aside the international arbitral ruling on the disputed waters.

Speaking to reporters, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was looking at other options that do not include confrontation with China.

“As far as I can see, he wants to, he says he’s not giving up on the matter, but it will be set aside for conversation someday,” Abella said in a news conference.

“However…he does see that there are other options that are open and that he’d rather keep it that way,” he added.

Duterte earlier said he would set aside the international tribunal’s ruling because he did not want to impose anything on China amid shifts in the “politics in Southeast Asia.”

The President also floated the idea of sharing fuel resources from the strategic waterway with China, despite a July international arbitral ruling that says parts of the sea are in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

“I have this arbitral award, so I have to push it. Kung gusto ninyo [If you want], let’s just develop what’s the oil there, hati-hati na lang tayo [we can share]. What will I do with the Scarborough Shoal? Swim there everyday?

For what? To send my soldiers there to die? Susmaryorsep. I will just have to start with the domestic problem,”
the President said in his speech on Monday.

But Abella clarified that Duterte’s plan for a joint exploration between the Philippines and China in the contested waters was not yet government policy.

“These are not government-to-government agreements, but it may be business-to-business agreements. It may be [the]private sector,” Abella told reporters.

Watch out

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday called on the administration to exercise caution before deciding on the offer of China to provide military equipment and weapons for the President’s anti-drug war.

“We can’t be too dumb not to realize that while China offers us weapons, they continue fortifying their defense facilities in our islands,” Lacson said.

Lacson, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, raised the need for an in-depth analysis and thorough discussion among top national security advisers and security experts before any decision is made.

“The issues involved here have far-reaching implications to our people and our country’s future generations.

Not one man, even if he is the President and commander-in-chief, has the monopoly of wisdom and knowledge concerning issues of this magnitude and proportion,” he added.


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  1. PsychoDerte already sold out the Philippines rights to those islands to China…. What else is there to argue about? Duterte was on his knees kissing Xi Jinping’s ass.

  2. President Dutere has sold the Philippines to China. He did not pursue the international tribunals decision that annexing those islands are illegal and has no merit, but Duterte decided to cuddle up with China instead of fighting for our right. Duterte is only brave if he knows he can bully his enemies like what he is doing with the so called “poor” drug dealers. He knows he cannot bully China so he chosed to hide his tail between his legs.
    If he thinks China will give him everything for nothing, think again.
    Even the devil promises everything to get his will.

  3. The international court ruling gave Philippines a favored ruling… that china has and is violating Philippines sovereign rights on the south china sea by creating man made islands in Philippines eez. The Philippines failed to follow this up with the international community and did nothing but try to cozy up to china. So why all the comosion about in-depth analysis and discussion with national security advisers and experts. china has and will continue to take reefs and rocks within your eez to claim as their historical inherent rights. (This chinese scheme is thievery and bull shit to the international community), but Philippwithines can not and will not do anything about it. So sorry for your future generations

    It is only the US who will confront china on freedom of international navigation and aviation over and thru the scs and who will sent this slant eyed cock roaches back to their main land.

  4. herman tiu laurel on

    nothing to lose in political gandstanding for Lacson, everything to gain… even if everyone knows its jsut playing to the U.S. game plan for perpetual tension and leveraging to gain the U.S. bargaining power…. nothing there for Filipinos to gain and only pushes back our development, a happy result for the Kano and its oligarch partners in the Philppines. Lacson seems only too willing to oblilge.

    • Du30 is a traitor.. may independent foreign policy pa sya nalalaman eh going to China naman sya.

  5. C’mon Lacson, you know that your president will sell the whole country to china. Just make a point to the US.