Not true Duterte was apologetic in raising Hague ruling with Xi–Locsin
MANILA, Philippines — It is not true that President Rodrigo Duterte was apologetic when he raised the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated China’s claim over nearly the entire South China Sea during his meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. insisted this on Wednesday during the House budget hearing of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) 2020 proposed budget.
“The reports that the President was apologetic in raising the arbitral award is a total fabrication, and in every aspect a complete lie,” Locsin said.
He further said that the President “always” raised the arbitral ruling during his visits to China.
Locsin then asked for an executive session with the congressmen so that he could divulge more details on the instances Duterte raised with the Chinese government.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier recounted Duterte’s conversation with Xi when he raised the arbitral ruling last week.
“The President said: ‘I didn’t want to alarm you with what I’m about to raise because of your problem in Hong Kong, which is why I’m asking for forgiveness, but I need to say this because I promised my countrymen,’” Panelo said on Sunday, quoting the President as telling Xi.
In response, “President Xi said: ‘I understand and I am OK with it,’” Panelo said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
Xi, however, reiterated his country’s rejection of the arbitral ruling, Panelo said. /jpv
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