Palace: No need for Duterte to ride jet ski to Spratlys; diplomatic protest is better
MANILA, Philippines — There is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to ride a jet ski to Scarborough or Spratlys to assert Philippine sovereignty in the disputed area, Malacañang said Wednesday.
“It will only be a drama if he goes there. The more better action would be to file a diplomatic protest and then raise that as an issue in bilateral meetings between the two countries,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in Palace briefing.
In April 2016, ahead of the May national elections, the President who was then a presidential candidate, said he would go to the disputed Spratly Islands and plant a Philippine flag there.
But the President later said his jet ski remark was just a hyperbole.
The Philippines in July 2016 sealed a historic win against China before the United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal in The Hague, which invalidated Beijing’s sweeping claims to almost all of the South China Sea but China has ignored the ruling.
The President, however, had chosen to set aside the ruling for now, and chose to engage China in bilateral talks. /muf
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