MANILA – Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on Friday refused to grade the performance of President Rodrigo Duterte but agreed with most of his policies, specifically on crime, on China, and the economy.
Speaking to reporters after his pre-trial at the Sandiganbayan, Enrile said he agrees with the policy of President Duterte on being friendly with China instead of asserting the victory of the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Enrile lauds Duterte’s foreign policy
“They have aircraft carriers. They have submarines. Missiles. What do we have? Kwitis,” he said, referring to a type of locally manufactured firecrackers.
He added he does not believe Duterte is compromising the country’s sovereignty in his negotiations with China.
“At least they are talking to us. The moment they ignore us then we should worry. They are reaching us, we should welcome it,” he said.
Enrile also said he believes the “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” tarpaulins, which surfaced across the capital on the anniversary of Manila’s arbitration victory over Beijing, were done by pranksters.
‘Philippines, Province of China’ banners hung in parts of capital
“Well there are various elements in the country who would like to cause trouble internally,” he said.
The rising numbers of killings, whether drug suspects, local officials or ordinary citizens do not worry Enrile.
“Crimes must be suppressed, laws must be enforced. That’s why you have the police and military for that,” he said.