Malacañang gave an update about the proposed meeting of President Duterte with former Presidents on the West Philippine Sea issues.
Malacañang gave an update about the proposed meeting of President Rodrigo Duterte with former Philippine Presidents on the West Philippine Sea issues.
It seemed that the proposed meeting with former Presidents to discuss issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea may no longer take place.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in his regular press briefing that there’s no urgency for President Duterte to meet with his predecessors and to get their views about the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China.
Roque also noted that President Duterte already consulted with former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who had agreed with the President’s stance on addressing the sea conflict through peaceful means.
To recall, Enrile attended a meeting with President Duterte and other Cabinet members at the Palace last week and voiced his concern that the Philippines will “lose more” if it will antagonize China over the maritime row.
According to Roque, President Duterte merely “toyed with the idea” of informal talks with the former Philippine Presidents instead of convening the National Security Council (NSC).
Roque said that President Duterte remembered that nothing was resolved when he attended past meetings of the high-level security body.
“‘Yun ang impression ko kasi ang sabi niya hindi na niya papansinin ang kanyang mga kritiko,” Roque said when asked if President Duterte will no longer meet with former Presidents.
Moreover, Roque said that President Duterte respected the opinion of Enrile on the West Philippine Sea issue.
Prior to Roque’s statement, former Philippine Presidents Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo agreed to meet the President to discuss issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea.