- President Duterte belied rumors that DFA Secretary Yasay would be ousted
- Duterte said Yasay has his full support
- Everything Yasay says in public, both national and international, comes from his guidance, says Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte made a special statement designed to douse cold water on the rumors that there is a plan for the ouster of Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay.
On a video posted on the Facebook page of the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang, President Duterte defended Yasay; saying the Foreign Affairs secretary is “competent, honest and he knows his business.”
“I would like to arrest a few rumors going around that Secretary Yasay of the Department of Foreign Affairs is on his way out. I would like to assure the secretary that he is in good company and there’s no truth to the rumor that there is a plan for his ouster, far from it actually,” the president said.
Days prior to the release of the arbitral tribunal’s verdict that struck down China’s claim over the West Philippine Sea, Secretary Yasay drew flak online when he said that the Philippines was willing to share with China the natural resources in the contested region even if the international arbitration court should rule in favor of the Philippines.
“We can even have the objective of seeing how we can jointly explore this territory. How we can utilize and benefit mutually from the utilization of the resources in this exclusive economic zone where claims are overlapping,” Yasay said.
In defending Yasay, President Duterte said the DFA secretary has his full support.
“Yasay speaks for me. Everything that he says in public both national and international comes from my guidance. And he has my backing and full support. And I said, I place my entire trust in him to take care as being the spokesman for our foreign affairs,” the president said.
“At sana po matapos na iyang haka-haka [I hope the speculations will stop],” Duterte ended his statement.