Duterte on His Promise to Ride a Jet Ski to Spratlys: It Was a 'Pure Campaign Joke'
President Rodrigo Duterte said his 2016 promise to ride a jet ski to the Spratlys to assert the Philippines' claim against China was a "pure campaign joke" and he would have died had he honored it.
Duterte cited the distance from mainland Palawan to the Spratlys and that there was no way he could refuel along the way. If he ran out of gas and no one came to his rescue, "I will be the late Rodrigo Duterte."
The President addressed the jet ski statement, which he made during a presidential debate, as Manila and Beijing are locked in a standoff over the presence of Chinese ships off reefs and shoals that are within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.
"Nagpa-plot ako kung saan ako magdaan... Ilan tangke ng jet ski? Pagtingin ko puro dagat wala ako makita gasoline station along the way, mahirap ito, dito tayo mamatay ng walang kakwenta-kwenta," he said.
"Panahon sa kampanya yan, at saka yung biro na yun, yung bravado, yung bravado ko pure campaign joke at kung naniniwlaa kayo sa kabila pati na si Carpio, I would say that you are stupid," he said.
Duterte was referring to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antinio Carpio one of the loudest critics of his China policy. The president challenged the former justice to a debate on the West Philippine Sea last week and later backed out, offering instead his spokesperson to argue for him.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.world. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.
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