Duterte not reneging on WPS pledge, says Roque

/ 07:30 AM March 03, 2018

What’s the joke about President Duterte’s promise to ride a Jet Ski to the Spratlys and plant a Philippine flag there to assert the country’s sovereignty over the area?

After the President said he was just kidding when he made that vow, his spokesperson Harry Roque said this did not mean that the Chief Executive was reneging on his stand to protect Philippine territory.


“The joke there is that he will literally ride a Jet Ski. But his stand remains true,” Roque told reporters.

Not literally


He said Mr. Duterte’s promise should not be taken literally and was symbolic of his position that he was ready to fight—and die—to preserve the country’s sovereignty over the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“The President’s position has not changed. He will not give an inch of territory, he will fight for it. But for now it is better if we develop a friendship with China because it is in our national interest,” he said.

Disputed territories

Speaking at a police activity on Thursday, Mr. Duterte said he was kidding when he said he would ride a Jet Ski to disputed territories and plant the flag there if China refused to recognize an international court ruling in favor of the Philippines.

His latest statement comes amid increasingly friendly ties between Manila and Beijing under his administration.

Mr. Duterte has set aside for the meantime the Philippine victory in the UN-backed tribunal, which invalidated Beijing’s extensive claims over the South China Sea. In return, China has offered multibillion dollars worth of aid and loans to Manila.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: duterte, Jet ski, Palace, Roque, Spratlys
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.