Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not surrender the country's rights over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, which China seized in 2012.

"There will never be an instance that we will surrender our rights over the Scarborough Shoal," Duterte told a news conference after holding talks with the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines on June 2 .

He added that this was not a territorial issue, but an issue of the Phillipines’ being obstructed from exercising rights under the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of the 200-nautical mile economic zone exclusive to the country.

He said he did not discuss the South China Sea dispute with the ambassador because the Philippines was anticipating a decision from a tribunal in The Hague.

Manila brought a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China under the UNCLOS.

Duterte, who won the presidency last month, said he would pursue multilateral talks to resolve sovereignty issues in the South China Sea peacefully.-VNA