President Rodrigo Duterte said that he never promised to retake the West Philippine Sea from China during his 2016 presidential bid.
“I never, never, in my campaign as President, promise the people that I would re-take the West Philippine Sea. I did not promise that I would pressure China,” Duterte said in a speech on Monday.
“I never promised anything. Just because I’m President, gusto n’yong makipag-away ako,” he added.
In a presidential debate in 2016, Duterte promised to go to the disputed territory using a jet ski.
“Bababa ako at sasakay ako ng jetski, dala-dala ko ang flag ng Filipino at pupunta ako dun sa airport ng China tapos itanim ko. I will say, this is ours and do what you want with me,” he said.