President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday assured a visiting congressional delegation from the United States that he is not negotiating with China over the maritime row following a favorable ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
In his tweets, US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said Duterte told the American legislators that he "will not trade territorial rights to China" and that the "tribunal decision" is "non-negotiable."
Murphy, along with a number of US legislators, paid a courtesy call on Duterte in the Palace. They were accompanied by US Ambassador Philip Goldberg.
"In Manila - just out of meeting w new Philippines President Duterte. Assured us he has no plans to negotiate w China over islands dispute," Murphy said.
"We were first US elected officials to meet w Duterte. Says he will not trade territorial rights to China. Tribunal decision non-negotiable."
READ: PH rejects China offer to disregard arbitral ruling before talks