President Rodrigo Duterte said he would seek the counsel of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile because “he was there from the beginning.”
“Pakinggan natin s’ya. Hindi na ako magsalita, makikinig lang ako sa kanya kasi siya ‘yung—he was there right at the beginning,” Duterte, speaking to some Cabinet members in a taped meeting that aired on Friday said.
“Sa kaniya ako makinig, sa kaniya ako bilib sa utak at pag-intindi nitong problema, itong ating West Philippine Sea.”
(Let us listen to him. I will not talk, I will just listen to him because he was there right at the beginning. I will listen to him because I admire his mind, his understanding of this problem, our West Philippine Sea.)
The President added that he invited Enrile to Malacañang because he could not go out to talk.
Former senator Enrile is already 97 years old.
WPS issue: Duterte to seek advise of Enrile who was ‘was there from the beginning’
“Mga barko natin, nandiyan sa Pag-asa island [Our ships in Pag-asa Island]… we will not move an inch, but we will not go to war with China,” Duterte said in a taped message aired on Friday.
“May utang na loob tayo sa China. Malaki. Buhay ang naitulong nila sa atin [We owe a lot to China, including lives],” he added.
“Sana maintindihan niyo ang bayan namin. Kung hindi, magkakaroon ng problema [I hope China would understand our position otherwise there would be problems],” he said.
However, Duterte expressed doubts if the United Nations could really help the Philippines in defending its legal claims in the West Philippine Sea.
“Kailan pa ba naging useful ang United Nations? Puro papel. Hindi niyo alam eh, nasa taas kayo [When was the United Nations of any use? They’re all papers. They’re clueless up there],” he said.