The Philippines is not a slave of China or any other country, Malacañang pronounced Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson, Salvador Panelo stated this to respond to the question if Manila is already a slave of Beijing.

“We can never be slaves to anyone,” he told reporters in the Palace press briefing.

He was also insisting that the sovereignty of the country is “never a subject of negotiation.”

“We always say that we will not allow any assault on our sovereignty – that’s the policy. That is unchanged,” he told the press.

This is a response after a Filipino fishing boat owner Felix Dela Torre expressed his disappointment with the seemingly lack of rights over its own territory.

“Parang alipin po tayo ng China. Parang wala tayong karapatan sa sarili nating nasasakupan,” the boat owner said.

The reason of Malacañang behind its soft stance

The Presidential Spokesperson stated that President Duterte would not allow any attack on Philippine sovereignty.

He also said that the President is being silent because he is waiting for facts to set in before he makes any assertion.

“Sovereignty is never a subject of negotiation. He is not silent, he is waiting for the facts to set in before he make any declaration.”

(The problem is that many of you are too hot and cannot wait. Let’s just wait, that’s why the President is not saying anything because as a lawyer…We, lawyers, wait for the facts to come in- all the facts.)

Duterte has been getting critics for having a solid statement on the Recto Bank incident.

However, no matter how many times the Philippines has been involved in maritime dispute with China, Duterte still continues to seek closer ties with Asia’s highest soaring economy.

Restrictions to fish in Recto Bank

Panelo also insisted that Chinese fishermen should avoid fishing in Recto Bank.

“Eh basta’t teritoryo natin, nandoon sila – mali iyon syempre (If it’s within our territory, it’s certainly wrong),” he said.

“But we do not know if they are fishing there…there are conflicting versions,” he added, as the Philippines and China are still investigating about the “maritime incident”.

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