MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is going in the right direction in his desire to end joint patrols with the United States in the West Philippine Sea, the Palace maintained Wednesday.
"This has been carefully considered. He (Duterte) has his own alternatives regarding the matter and he is fully aware of his responsibility regarding the [Philippines'] Exclusive Economic Zone," Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
The statement came after Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio stressed the importance of sending patrols to the disputed waters, during the closing ceremonies of the Philippine-US Amphibious Landing Exercises (Phiblex) on Tuesday.
Carpio said the US is the only country who can help the Philippines stop any Chinese encroachment in its EEZ.
Abella added that the President is willing to have a dialogue with Carpio on the matter "if the justice were to approach him."
Duterte earlier called off joint patrols in the area as a sign of goodwill as the President hopes to have an alliance with China.