PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte lamented that China continued to build structures on disputed islands while the Philippine case against Beijing was being heard by the international arbitral court.
In a speech during his PDP-LABAN Party’s campaign sortie in Agusan del Norte, Duterte said: “We lost the Scarborough Shoal during the standoff in 2012. Over the years China has kept building structures while the case was heard in the arbitral court.”
And he blamed the Aquino administration for doing nothing.
“Why didn’t the Philippine government go there at the site with its ship and ask China ‘what are you doing here? You are not supposed to build artificial islands in international seas’,” Duterte said in mixed English and Cebuano.
He also lashed out at the US. “America did not also do anything. And now that the islands are built up and military facilities are war-equipped they ask me to go there.”
“If I go there to show off, we will all be crushed, and my soldiers and police forces will be massacred. So, we need to negotiate unless we decide to attack China.”
Moreover, he said that if we decide to challenge China, “Who will be with me? Will America do so? It won’t.”
He pointed out that America has failed for years to address its problem with Iran and Iraq.
“In sum, the US has not won its war in the Middle East for years. Who won? No one. The losers are the people and most of the casualties of the war were civilians —the women, the elderly, and children. That’s the truth,” Duterte said.