Duterte thumbs down joint exploration in West PH Sea

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2016 08:33 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Toto Lozano, Malacanang Photo

BEIJING - President Duterte is not keen on having a joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea, saying he is not empowered to do so. 

He said that a proposal for joint exploration should have the consent of Congress and the people. 

“No, I do not think that will be right,” Duterte said. 

“…If you plan to give up something, if you plan to give up, or if you plan to share what you have if it is really yours, then you never talk about it openly on your own. It has to be with the consent of Congress and everybody, every Filipino involved in town…," he said. 

"So at this time, I am not empowered to do that. I cannot give something and I cannot also add what has not been given.”

President Duterte is set to meet with Chinese leaders tomorrow (Oct. 20) when he will also be formally welcomed by President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. 

He thanked China for the invitation to undertake a state visit. 

He said his bilateral talks will cover “shared mutual benefits” and other issues “of importance to the regional peace and security.”