Duterte wants to meet ex-presidents to tackle WPS issue
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to meet former chief executives to discuss the issue on the West Philippine Sea instead of convening the National Security Council (NSC) that, based on his experience, has “resolved nothing,” Malacañang said Thursday.
“Actually, nabanggit po sa akin yan ni Presidente, ang problema doon sa National Security Council, wala naman pong nareresolve doon sa mga pagkakataon na naka-attend sya,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(Actually, the President mentioned that to me. The problem with the National Security Council is that nothing is resolved during the times he attended.)
“So iniisip niya na imbitahin ang mga dating presidente at ilang mga personalidad para magkaroon ng isang pagpupulong to discuss the issue, pero ang tingin po nya, ang mga karanasan nga po niya sa National Security Council e walang resolusyon na nangyayari so bakit pa, e pwede naman po yan through informal consultations,” he added.
(He’s thinking of inviting former presidents and some personalities to a meeting on the issue. But due to his experiences with the National Security Council, no resolution is being done so why convene it when it can be done through informal consultations.)
Former senator Rodolfo Biazon has lamented the Philippines’ “confusing” stand on the West Philippine Sea issue as he called for the convening of the NSC.
But for Roque, nothing is confusing with the President’s stand on the issue.
“Sa ngayon po, wala pong confusion. Ang confusion ay dahil pinapasukan po ng pulitika ng mga kritiko ng administrasyon yung issue ng West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.
(Right now, there is no confusion. The confusion is because the West Philippine Sea issue is being politicized by critics of the administration.)
“Pero malinaw po ha, walang nawalang teritoryo sa panahon ni Presidente Duterte,” he added.
(But what’s clear is no territory was lost under President Duterte.)
Last week, Duterte said the Philippines will not withdraw its assets from the West Philippine Sea while also insisting he does not intend to quarrel with China because of the country’s “debt of gratitude” to them.
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