Duterte: Xi Jinping won't allow moves to remove me from office

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed Chinese President Xi Jinping swore to protect him from moves that will result in his removal from office.

"The assurances of Xi Jinping were very encouraging...'We will not allow you to be taken out from your office, and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs,'" Duterte said. "Siguro kasi freely elected leader naman ako, it could be a very justified statement."

The two leaders met at the Boao Forum for Asia last month, affirming the diplomatic relationship between Philippines and China amid territorial disputes.

Duterte delivered the speech aboard the BRP Davao Del Sur, docked at Casiguran Bay in Aurora, to lead the send-off for 50 Filipino scientists who will conduct research on the Benham Rise.

"'Well we just restored our relationship. I think it's a new era for us and if I may beg you not to bring this up forcefully because there will be a time when we'll be discussing it.'" Duterte said, once again citing Xi on the South China Sea issue.

"We are not giving up our rights. We are still insisting until now to the point they are now willing ang sabi ni Xi Jinping…They are now offering for a joint exploration and development," he added.

The Philippines said it will take diplomatic action over these recent military moves and island building of the Chinese government. So far, however, Duterte has not raised an international arbitral ruling invalidating Beijing's vast claims in the South China Sea although he has promised to do so during his term.

On March 2017, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano filed an impeachment case against Duterte over the alleged extrajudicial killings due to his war against illegal drugs. The House Committee on Justice unanimously voted to junk the complaint.

Alejano then filed a supplemental impeachment complaint over Duterte's "failure to assert the country's exclusive sovereign rights and maritime rights and territorial claims" over Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal, and the rest of the South China Sea.