Duterte: PH will not join patrols in contested waters


Posted at Sep 13 2016 09:20 PM

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will neither hold nor be a part of joint patrol activities in disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech before the Air Force on Tuesday afternoon.

"I will not allow it because I do not want my country to be involved in any hostile act," Duterte said.

"I do not want to ride gung-ho style with China there and America.

I just want to patrol our territorial waters," he added.

Duterte said the AFP will focus on monitoring the country's territorial waters, but not the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) affirmed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration last July. 

READ: Arbitral court's ruling on Philippines vs China

"I want to remind China that the areas we've won are not part of our territorial waters but are part of our economic zones. We do not go into a patrol or join other armies because I do not want any trouble," Duterte said.

The 71-year-old firebrand also reiterated his willingness to hold talks with Chinese counterparts but only on a "government-to-government basis."

Duterte also revealed that Chinese officials have invited the government to "send AFP technical men," and that they will be "happy to show what they can offer."