Duterte: Hindi Ako takot sa China

President Rodrigo Duterte photo from google (ctto)

Manila, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is currently attending the ASEAN Summit in Thailand. The ASEAN Summit will be on June 21-23, 2019 and will be participated by other South East Asian leaders.

The President left a striking message for his avid critics on regards of how he handled the Recto Bank incident, he said, ‘it’s not China that he’s afraid of but the prospect of the Asian power wiping out Philippine forces in the event of armed conflict’.

“That is an open confrontation, magkabarilan pa (there would be a gun battle). Hindi ako takot sa China. Takot ako na baka walang kalaban-laban tayo at baka tayo ang maubos (I’m not afraid of China. I am afraid that we might turn out to be helpless and just get wiped out),” the Chief Executive said.

“America has the right to interfere if it becomes a bloody confrontation,” he added.

“Now I am thinking of claiming the Sulu Sea as ours. Do not pass through it without seeking permission from me. And I won’t mind if America would claim the whole of the Pacific and the Australian would claim all. That is the danger, that’s what I want to say, Sulu Sea is part of the Philippines. the President mentioned during the oath taking of newly elected local officials in Davao City.

President Duterte assigned Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as officer-in-charge of the executive department while attending the Sumit in Thailand.

“My question to China is, we’re friends. But you know… China you drew a line that is really close to the coastline of the Vietnamese, Malaysia, Brunei. What I say is, is it correct for China to declare ownership of an ocean? I am the moderator of China in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). But I’m posing this question: can you claim ownership of the ocean?” he said.

Duterte still expressed a belief that the sinking of a Filipino boat near the Recto Bank is not an attack on Philippine sovereignty but just a “little maritime accident,” and said he would not send Navy ships to the area.

“It is not an attack on our sovereignty. Malayo ’yan (It’s too far). Sovereignty is the republic. If you attack that, then there’s going to be war,” he mentioned.

“The problem with China is it drew the nine-dash line. The line was near our coastal waters. Remember that the incident in Recto, it was not a matter of sovereignty. It was 12 miles and that is part of our territory as a republic. Beyond that, what was given to us is the exclusive economic zone,” he added

“Can you counter the missile of China? My Marines would already be wiped out moments after they leave Palawan. I will not do that,” the President said.

The President also stressed out that the US Congress has to consent with a declaration of war if the Philippines invokes the Mutual Defense Treaty.

“They will go to war, only the (US) President say so, and Congress will give its concurrence. Other than that, nothing,” President Duterte said. 

He said it would now be the Marine board of inquiry’s decision to handle the Recto Bank incident. The incident would be under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard if it involves a private vessel.

“For the military, for the police, and for everybody. The collision of the ships, that is a maritime incident or accident. It’s like a collision in the highway. It is not a confrontation of armed men and machines or ships. Nobody died,” he added.

Source: MSN

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