Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano addresses staff of the foreign affairs department during the flag-raising ceremony Monday, May 22, 2017 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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Cayetano said Duterte apparently talked about his meeting with Xi just to respond to a barrage of criticisms that he has been soft on China and has refused to raise the Philippines' arbitral victory last year that invalidates most of China's claims in the South China Sea.He said that after his return next week from a trip to Russia with Duterte he will explain the context of the two leaders' exchange to lawmakers and a Supreme Court justice, who have urged the Philippines to file a diplomatic protest over the alleged war threats and to ask the United Nations to demand that China comply with the arbitral ruling.Duterte's spokesman, Enesto Abella, said Monday that Duterte's first and last priority is national interest and the well-being of Filipinos, and that China and the Philippines are committed to peaceful resolutions of their disputes.
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