Duterte only ‘cautious’ about ‘repercussions’ of WPS incident – Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was just being “cautious” as he was merely avoiding possible “repercussions” of the recent incident between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said this Tuesday in defense of Duterte, whose pronouncements on the infamous event – according to Senator Panfilo Lacson – only left Filipinos “heartbroken.”
“Mr. Lacson is entitled to his opinion. We know where he is coming from. But we will repeat, the President is cautious in threading in this particular incident. He wants first to establish his facts,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Duterte broke his silence on the issue Monday evening and called the June 9 incident at Recto Bank as just a “little maritime accident.”
The President reiterated that the Philippines cannot take Beijing in a military confrontation and insisted on hearing the side of China.
Panelo also explained that the recent issue with Canada is different from the “allision” in the West Philippine Sea, noting that the facts in the Canadian trash issue were “established” unlike with the Recto Bank incident.
Duterte had previously threatened to declare war with Canada if it fails to take back the tons of garbage it illegally shipped to the Philippines six years ago.
“‘Yung Canada ay established ‘yung facts, you cannot refute it kasi nangyari. Talagang mali sila, anim na taon, pati ‘yung nakaraang administrasyon walang ginawa kaya galit siya (Duterte). Eh ito hindi pa nga niya alam ‘yung tunay na facts,” he said.
The Palace official stressed there would be “repercussions” if the Philippines takes a wrong step on the Recto Bank incident.
“Kaya nga precisely nagiging maingat siya kasi ang repercussions nito kung magkamali tayo ng galaw dito eh maraming maapektuhan, ‘yung ating overseas workers for one. ‘Yung ating mga relasyon sa kanila kaya kailangang maging maingat tayo,” Panelo pointed out. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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