01 July 2017

News Story: Duterte takes 'non-combative' stance amid China military buildup

By Audrey Morallo

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday issued a diffident response to reports that Beijing has been incessant in its construction of military facilities in the Philippines’ maritime backyard, insisting that President Rodrigo Duterte approached such issues in a “non-combative” way.

In a media conference in Duterte’s hometown of Davao City, Ernesto Abella, the president’s spokesman, said that the chief executive had approached regional geopolitics in a “non-combative and non-adversarial” way, in line with its policy of cozying up with Beijing to attract Chinese money and investments into Manila’s economy.

Duterte had viewed regional politics from the point of view of dialogue, mutual understanding and mutual support, the spokesman noted.

“The president’s approach to regional geopolitics has always been to come to a mutual understanding and dialogue in order to resolve cases like this,” he said, adding that these matters should be referred to the defense and foreign affairs departments.

“However, we need to just go back to the fact that the president at this stage has been non-combative and non-adversarial but has approached regional politics from the point of view of dialogue and mutual understanding and mutual support,” Abella said.

Read the full story at PhilStar