Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo defended the response of President Rodrigo Duterte after a Chinese vessel sank a Philippine boat near Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In an interview with ANC, Arroyo said Duterte and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr have taken the “right approach.”
Arroyo – one of the Philippines’ most unpopular presidents, who is now speaker of the House of Representatives – said she has “full confidence” in how Duterte and Locsin view the issue.
“Take a calibrated response and be as civil as they have to be. I think that’s the right approach,” Arroyo said in the interview quoted by ABS-CBN News on Friday, June 14.
Stressing the need to boost ties with China, Arroyo added: “China is our big neighbor in the north. Shouldn’t we be friends with our big neighbor in the north?”
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