Palace certain Chinese vessels will leave

This handout photo taken April 14, 2021, and received from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on April 15, Philippine coast guard ship BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409), in centre, along with coast guard-manned Bureau of Fisheries boats, patrol an area in the South China Sea. (Photo by – / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP) /

Malacañang on Tuesday expressed confidence that China would soon withdraw its vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

“Kampante po tayo dahil sa malapit na pagkakaibigan, aalis at aalis din naman sila diyan (We are confident that because of our close friendship, they will leave),” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the country could not reclaim areas in the West Philippine Sea, where China is building structures, “without any bloodshed.”

Duterte also said that even if the Philippine government would assert its claims, nothing would happen.

Roque echoed the President’s statements.

“Status quo tayo ngayon dahil hindi naman natin mababawi ‘yan kung wala tayong lakas para bawiin kung anong atin, lalo na yung mga artificial islands na ‘yan (We are on status quo because we cannot reclaim that if we don’t have the force to take whatever is ours, especially the artificial islands there),” Roque said.