Duterte not taking sides between China, US on WPS issue – Roque

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President Rodrigo Duterte is not taking sides between China and United States in the issue of West Philippine Sea, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in today’s press briefing.

Secretary Roque said the President is implementing an independent foreign policy which prioritizes Philippines’ interest.

“Hindi naman natin binabale-wala iyong mga hakbang na gagawin, hindi lang puwedeng i-a-anunsiyo, hindi lang pupuwede na araw-araw pag-usapan. Pero at the same time, mas minabuti ni Presidente na wag kumampi sa kahit kaninong partido dito sa nangyayari dito sa West Philippine Sea dahil ang interes ng mga Pilipino ay magkaroon ng kapayapaan,” Roque said.

“He says that he will not be involved in any armed confrontation between China and the United States. It is not to our national interest to get involved in any armed conflict although any such armed conflict is a reason for us to be concerned, because it is in our Exclusive Economic Zone, it is in our backyard,” the Presidential spokesperson sai.

“An independent foreign policy, iyong independiyenteng panlabas na relasyon, ang pinakamabuti pa ring posisyon, dahil kung magkakaroon nang komprontasyon sa parte ng America at ng Tsina, eh ayaw naman niya isugal ang buhay ng mga Pilipino, dahil wala naman tayong interest sa ganiyang komprontasyon kung mangyayari man,” Roque said this was reiterated by President Duterte with Secretaries Cayetano, Lorenzana, and Esperon at the sidelines of May 7 Cabinet meeting.