- President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in a speech Monday that his promise of riding a jet ski to the disputed Spratly Islands and planting a Philippine flag there is purely a campaign joke
- He said that his bravado was part of his campaign strategy for the presidential elections
- The President also said that he was afraid the jet ski might conk out in high waters and he would die
- Duterte earlier claimed that he did not promise during the campaign to retake the West Philippine Sea
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that his promise of riding a jet ski going to the disputed Spratly Islands and planting a Philippine flag there was just a campaign joke and those who believed it are stupid.
He also said he does not know how to swim and is afraid might die if the jet ski capsizes or conks out in the middle of the sea.
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“Eh kung matumba yang yawa na ‘yan, magkakapa kapa na ako. By this time, I would’ve been the late Rodrigo Duterte,” the President said.
He also said he’s just going to tell his supporters someday that fear overtook him.
“Sabi ko, mahirap ito. Sabihin ko na lang balang araw na inabot ako ng takot. Wala akong magawa. Takot akong mamatay. Alam ba ninyo na hindi ako marunong maglangoy?” President Duterte said.
He then said that all his bravado in campaign rallies was just a joke and was meant for 'show' because it was election season.
“Panahon ‘yan sa kampanya ‘yan. At saka ‘yung biro na ‘yun, ‘yung bravado ko, it was a pure campaign joke,” President Duterte also said.
The President earlier claimed that he did not promise during the campaign to retake the West Philippine Sea.
Instead, he accused the past administration of letting the Chinese stay in the disputed area.
The West Philippine Sea / South China Sea dispute involves both island and maritime claims by several sovereign states within the region, which include Brunei, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. An estimated US$3.37 trillion worth of global trade passes through the area annually, accounting for a third of the global maritime trade.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed the arbitral victory of the Philippines against China and claimed that it was just a piece of paper. He also blamed former DFA Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Supreme Court AJ Antonio Carpio on why China kept a presence in the disputed area. He then challenged Carpio to a debate, which the former SC magistrate willingly accepted.
After challenging former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio to a debate, President Duterte backs off from his own challenge and has instead assigned Harry Roque to be his official representative to the debate. Earlier, the President challenged Carpio to a debate, daring him to answer just two or three questions. Less than a day later, Carpio accepted the challenge of the President to a debate and several hours after, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines volunteered to host and moderate the event. According to Roque, however, the President decided to assign him to the task after some senators and cabinet members dissuaded him from doing it.
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