Palace touts Duterte admin after PCG move in Sabina Shoal: ‘Tayo ang nagpapalayas’
MANILA, Philippines — Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, the Philippines is the one driving out China and not the other way around.
This was according to Malacañang, as it lauded the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for challenging Chinese vessels spotted in Sabina Shoal that is within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Yan po ang administrasyon ni Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Ang administrasyon ni Albert Del Rosario noong siya ang DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs], tayo ang pinapalayas. Pero kay Presidente Duterte, tayo ang nagpapalayas,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(That’s the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. During the administration of Albert Del Rosario when he was DFA Secretary, we are the ones asked to leave. But under President Duterte, we’re the ones driving them away.)
Roque said this incident will not affect bilateral relations between Manila and Beijing because it “clearly” happened within the Philippines’ EEZ.
“Wala po kasi titignan ninyo kung saan nangyari ang insidente. Kung saan nangyari ang insidente, malinaw po nasa loob ‘yan ng ating exclusive economic zone at napakalapit po sa Palawan. Walang kaduda-duda po, tayo lang ang may karapatan sa area na iyon,” Roque said.
(There is none because you have to look at where the incident happened. It clearly happened within our exclusive economic zone and it’s very close to Palawan. No doubt, we are the only one who has the right in that area.)
“Tama po na coast guard ang magbantay nyan dahil kabahagi po ‘yan ng ating tanging yaman,” he added.
(The coast guard is right to watch over that area because it’s part of our natural resources.)
The Philippines has strengthened its presence in its EEZ after China parked its vessels at Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef in the West Philippine Sea.
Numerous diplomatic protests have been filed against China due to its lingering presence within Philippine waters.
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