Duterte protects the interest of the country in Recto Issue-Palace

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DAVAO CITY (June 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to protect the interest of the country as he sees the Recto Bank issue differently which earned flak after saying that the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat after being hit by a Chinese fishing trawler .

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing on Tuesday said, Duterte looked the the Recto Bank issue differently from the issue of Canadian garbage,

“‘Iyong sa Canada, established ang facts. You cannot refute it kasi talagang mali sila. Anim na taon, pati iyong dating administrasyon walang ginawa. Kaya galit siya. Eh ito, hindi pa niya alam iyong tunay na facts,” Panelo said.

“Maritime incident is a maritime incident. It is best investigated. And I do not know the issue statement because there is no investigation and there is no result. Then the only thing we can do is wait and give the other party the right to be heard. That is important,” he added.

He added, “The President is cautiously treading. Ayaw niyang magkamali at the same time ibig niyang pangalagaan ang interes ng ating bansa. Iyon ang pinakaimportante. The President’s actions in all his endeavors and functions are always based on the provision of the Constitution to serve and to protect the people.”

“The President is a very cautious person and as a lawyer he is trained to listen to all sides, especially because there are adversarial claims. May iba-ibang versions kaya nagiging maingat siya,” Panelo added.

For the Palace official, President Duterte is careful in releasing any further statements so as not to make this incident an ‘international crisis’, more so if it can be dealt with in a peaceful manner. 

Panelo added that more than this, the Chief Executive is also protecting the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers in China who might be affected.

“He doesn’t want this blown into an international crisis given the fact na matagal din nabago iyong relasyon from the previous administration na masama ang relasyon,” Panelo said.

“Inaalagaan niya ito. At the same time, inaalala niya iyong kapakananan ng 320,000 overseas workers natin sa China. At the same time, iniisip niya rin iyong kapakanan ng mga nagfifish doon sa Recto Bank,” he pointed out. 

The President’s spokesperson, meanwhile, stressed that the government is not downplaying the accounts of the Filipino fishermen, rather is taking it vis-à-vis the Chinese version.

“Hindi naman nagda-doubt sa version ng Kapitan ng mga fishermen. Ang sinasabi natin, ang mga bagong circumstances are factors that raise doubts kasi nga mismo iyong kasama niya sinasabi na hindi intentional ang pag bangga. Iyon ang punto. That is the very reason why the President says, ‘O teka, hintayin na nga lang natin iyong imbestigasyon,’” Panelo said. 

“That is the very reason why the President says na antayin natin iyong imbestigasyon,” he underscored, adding that the Chinese also has the right to be heard.

“They have their own investigation and we have ours, and then mag-reconcile tayo. Kung hindi tayo magkasundo then we need an arbitral body, agency or an arbiter to decide which is true or false, which is right or wrong,” he said. 

“But we are hopeful na malalaman din natin kung ano ang nangyari, and kung sino man ang may kasalanan should admit liability and give compensation,” Panelo concluded.-ezc with PNA report

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