President Duterte was considering meeting with former Presidents to discuss West Philippine Sea issues.
Malacañang disclosed that President Rodrigo Duterte was considering meeting with former Presidents to discuss the issues concerning the West Philippine Sea.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in his regular press briefing that President Duterte was looking for an alternative to convening the National Security Council (NSC) and one of the options was to meet with previous Philippine Presidents anew.
“Kung kinakailangan, iniisip niya na imbitahin ang mga dating presidente, ilang mga personalidad para magkaroon ng isang pagpupulong to discuss the issue. Wala pa pong date. The President is considering the idea of an alternative to convening the National Security Council. Pero yun po, still in the process of consideration,” Roque said.
This wouldn’t be the first time President Duterte met with former Philippine Presidents. Last July 2016, the first month of the Duterte administration, President Duterte met with former Presidents Benigno Aquino III, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Fidel Ramos in Malacañang.
According to the Palace, among the issues that President Duterte discussed with former Presidents and the NSC were the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling on the West Philippine Sea.
Meanwhile, the Palace spokesman explained that the President was looking for alternatives to an NSC meeting because the President thought that nothing significant came out from such meeting.
Roque, on the other hand, said that there’s nothing confusing with the Philippines’ stand on the West Philippine Sea.
Roque’s statement came after former Senator Rodolfo Biazon called for the convening of the NSC to come up with a “clear and united” stand on the said issue.