Duterte assures China that PH gov’t had no hand on ICC complaint vs Xi
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has assured China that the Philippine government has no hand in the complaint filed by Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a meeting with Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Central Committee of China, Duterte noted that his administration “had no participation” in the ICC case.
Duterte and Song’s meeting took place Wednesday night at Matina Enclaves in Davao City.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and Chinese Consul General to Davao Li Lin accompanied Song during the meeting.
“I would like to welcome you warmly, and I’d like to tell you that we are very happy with your visit,” Duterte was quoted to have told Song.
A Malacañang statement said Duterte and Song “discussed issues that would further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.”
It added the two officials “have also discussed matters of mutual interest, especially on the subject of the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.”
“President Duterte also clarified the case filed by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court, noting that the administration had no participation in such activity,” the Malacañang statement also said.
But Duterte, according to the statement, nevertheless told Song that “the Philippines is a democratic country” and that “we cannot stop people from just filing cases.”
The President, it further said, “also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the vibrant trade relationship between the Philippines and China.”
The Chief Executive likewise “underscored the relentless support of the Chinese government to the Build Build Build Program of the Duterte administration to beef up the nation’s infrastructure development,” the Malacañang statement added.
“If there will be a need of assistance in improving the people’s lives, China is willing to help,” Song was quoted to have told Duterte.
China, Song said, was “looking forward to welcoming President Duterte to China” in April.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Acting Secretary Ernesto Abella, DFA-Mindanao Assistant Secretary Norman Garibay, DFA-ASPAC Executive Director Josel Ignacio, and DFA Principal Assistant Emilio Lopue Jr. were with Duterte during the meeting. /kga
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