In an interview with Sonshine Media Network International Saturday, Duterte said that he asked Xi why there were many ships in the disputed waters when he already assured them that the United States will not be able to set foot on islands controlled by the Philippines.
“I was not angry but sinabi ko (but I said), ‘Did I not tell you, Mr. President, that I will never allow the Americans to set foot on any of the islands controlled by the Philippines. That we will not start any war and that I will never allow American weapons to be stationed in that island?’” Duterte recalled.
“‘So why are you surrounding my island with so many ships? You’re wasting your gasoline.’ That’s my exact words. ‘You’re wasting your gasoline. You might as well give it to us,’” he continued.
Duterte then said that he will not allow any American to set foot on the Pag-asa Island for as long as he is president.“I know that it will create, really, trouble. And I will not allow their arms. If it’s a Philippine government arms given to us by America, well that’s another story. If you want, you can give us a better one,” he recalled telling Xi.
“I was quite frank with the… Talagang sinabi ko sa kanya. Sinabi ko nga sa iyo (I really told him that), I will not. You have my word of honor,” he added.
He also said that he told Xi to not prohibit Filipino fishermen from entering the disputed waters because it will only cause a surge in the country’s inflation rate.“Do not deprive them because you know we are poor. You prohibit us. You will just create the inflation to go higher,” Duterte recalled telling Xi.