Duterte’s claim of China ‘assurance’ vs ouster ‘dumbfounding’: maritime expert


President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their bilateral meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20, 2016. King Rodriguez, Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping assured him that he would not get ousted is “dumbfounding,” a maritime expert said Wednesday.

Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said Duterte’s statement appears to be a “public relations disaster.”

“It’s dumbfounding really,” Batongbacal told ANC.

“The message he (Duterte) sent is that China is protecting him and would essentially be protecting also the Philippines when it is China that is the primary concern,” he added.