Former Senate President Enrile will speak on the West Philippine Sea issue during President Duterte’s Talk to the People.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will speak on the West Philippine Sea issue during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People on Monday night.
According to Roque, Enrile will be the guest during the President’s Talk to the People on Monday night.
Roque’s announcement came three days after President Duterte sought Enrile’s counsel on the West Philippine Sea issue by saying that the former senator was there from the beginning.
While the President said that he wanted to listen to Enrile’s take on the West Philippine Sea issue because of the former senator’s impeccable intellect, Roque said that Enrile’s take was needed in order to shed light on the role of President Duterte’s critics — former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV — on why the Philippines lost access to Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).
China and the Philippines agreed to simultaneously pull out their respective vessels out of Scarborough Shoal back in 2012 after a prolonged standoff between the two parties.
However, such agreement to jointly pull out their respective vessels brokered by the United States to deescalate the situation was only complied with by the Philippines since Chinese vessels never left the said area.
But President Duterte earlier said that he’ll never pull out Philippine vessels out of the West Philippine Sea amidst continuous incursions of Chinese militia vessels within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the said area.
“We will not move an inch, but we will not go to war with China. Kaya ako sabihin ko sa China ngayon, I am not ready to withdraw. I do not want a quarrel, I do not want trouble, I respect your position and you respect mine. But we will not go to war,” President Duterte said in a taped message aired on Friday.