FOREIGN Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. yesterday denied that President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte was apologetic when he raised with Chinese President Xi Jinping the 2016 arbitral ruling invalidating China’s claim over nearly the entire West Philippine Sea.
Locsin made his denial during Wednesday’s budget briefing before the House Committee on Appropriations where he defended the Department of Foreign Affairs’ P22.55-billion budget under the proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget, which is 9.95% higher than this year’s allocations.
“The report that the President was apologetic in raising the arbitral award, that’s a total fabrication, in every aspect a complete lie,” said Locsin who like Panelo joined President Duterte in his China trip last week.
A media report said that Panelo had said that the Chief Executive sounded apologetic when talking to Xi.
Locsin insisted that the Chief Executive has been always raising the ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
“By insisting on, the President I admire him for this, on permission. But by China saying, yes we will ask for permission, we are now on the side of China in the revision of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) which is now asking for permission,” said Locsin.
He also pointed out that he will not stop filing diplomatic protests with China over territorial intrusions when the need arises.
“When I became Secretary of Foreign Affairs, even if I believe that filing diplomatic protest is like throwing a paper boat on a brick wall, I do it,” said Locsin as he bared that 29 out of 60 diplomatic protests filed by the Duterte administration were lodged during his stint as secretary of the DFA.