- President Duterte thanked his predecessor for filing the West PH Sea
- He said without PNoy’s move, PH wouldn’t have its ace card to use against China
- He also said now’s the time to remain cool and to trust in Fidel V. Ramos’ diplomatic skills
MANILA, Philippines – Acknowledging former president Benigno Aquino III’s role in the West Philippine Sea arbitration, President Rodrigo Duterte thanked his predecessor for giving the Philippines an “ace card” to use as leverage against China.
“Si President Aquino, he won for us the case kaya ako nagsabi, ‘Maraming salamat po for giving us the ace card.’ It was he who filed, it was upon his instructions,” Rappler quoted him as telling troops at Camp Nakar in Lucena City on Thursday.
[President Aquino, he won for us the case, so I said, ‘Thank you for giving us the ace card.’ It was he who filed, it was upon his instructions.]
Duterte also revealed that all four of his predecessors who attended the National Security Council meeting with him earlier this week advised restraint in dealing with China.
“During my watch, medyo dahan-dahan lang ako. Pag daanan mo sa init ng ulo, patay na. Your life is not something I can just throw away,” he said.
[During my watch, we will take it slowly because if you will be ill-tempered, you are dead. Your life is not something I can just throw away.]
To this end, the president said he will place his full trust in former president Fidel V. Ramos’ diplomatic skills.
“Hayaan muna natin sila. Let Ramos navigate and maybe, when the final talks are there, tapos nagkaharap na kami, that will be the time na magkaprankahan na tayo,” he said.
[Let’s let them be for now. Let Ramos navigate and maybe, when the final talks are there and we are face-to-face with China, that will be the time to be frank with each other.]