President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reads a document while discussing matters with Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines Huang Xilian who paid a courtesy call on the President at the Malacañan Palace on March 11, 2020. (REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Duterte offers his gratitude in advance to Chinese President Xi Jinping and said that he will seek the assistance of China, the origin of the deadly COVID-19, if the pandemic in the Philippines continues to get worse. 

Duterte revealed during his live state address last March 12, 2020, that he received a letter from Xi offering assistance to help the country battle the infectious and deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“All we have to do is to ask. Ako ang tingin ko, maybe there will be a time, if things deteriorate, that I have to call on China to help,” Duterte said.

“To the Chinese government, to the people, especially to President Xi Jinping, thank you for the consoling words and maybe, I hope that it would not reach to that point but maybe we will need your help,” he added.

China, where the COVID-19 started, declared that they have successfully contained the spread of the disease.

Duterte met with China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, a day earlier, in Malacañang to deliberate continued economic cooperation and coronavirus response by the two countries.

As part of the recovery measures, Duterte ordered Metro Manila to undergo a “community quarantine” to contain the spread of the disease.  (RJ Espartinez)