Duterte invites Enrile to discuss maritime issue with China

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has invited former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to join his meeting with other Cabinet officials to discuss issues on the West Philippine Sea.

In his taped speech Thursday but aired only on Friday, Duterte expressed hope Enrile, a former defense minister and a shrewd lawyer himself, would accept his invitation to be a guest in their meeting on Monday.

“We have respectfully invited Senator Enrile to come here kasi hindi naman ako puwedeng lumabas na magusap, pakinggan natin sya,” Duterte said.

(We have respectfully invited Senator Enrile to come here because I cannot go out, so let’s listen to him.)

“Hindi na ako magsalita, makikinig lang ako sa kanya kasi siya yung, he was there right at the beginning, so sa kanya ako makinig, kasi sa kanya ako bilib sa utak at pagintindi nitong problema, itong ating West Philippine Sea,” the President further said of Enrile.

(I will no longer speak, I will just listen to him because he was right there at the beginning. I will listen to him, because I’m impressed with his understanding of this problem at the West Philippine Sea.)