By Prince Golez
Malacañang reiterated on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte did not promise to retake the West Philippine Sea (WPS) from China during his 2016 presidential bid.
In his Talk to the People address yesterday, Duterte claimed that he never promised to take back the WPS when he ran for President in 2016, saying that the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China was a “very serious matter.”
“I think the President should be construed literally. Hindi niya pinangako na maibabalik niya yung mga territory na nawala sa atin dahil sa kagagawan ng ibang tao at ibang administrasyon,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.
Duterte, he added, only said that he would ask Beijng to honor the country’s sovereign rights.
“Even the jet ski, ang sabi lang naman niya, sasabihin niya ang China na umalis, pero hindi niya ipinangako na yung nawalang Scarborough Shoal ay maipapalis niya ang mga Tsino roon,” he also said.