PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said China’s President Xi Jinping had warned that there would be “trouble” if the Philippines pushed ahead with drilling oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.
Duterte recalled an earlier bilateral meeting with Xi where he raised the possibility of tapping oil resources.
The arbitral tribunal decision in 2016 clarified the Philippine’s sovereign right in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to access offshore oil and gas fields.
“Sabi ko, ‘I’m going there to dig oil.’ Ang sagot ni Xi Jinping in whisper . . . ‘Alam mo, Mayor Duterte, we just restored our friendship. It was not good for a number of years. Pero huwag na muna tayong pag-usapan.’ Sabi niya, ‘Let’s talk about helping each other, trade, commerce, investment, China can help’,” the President said in an interview with reporters Thursday night.
He continued, “No, no, balik ako sabi ko, ‘I want my oil because that is ours there.’ And he said, ‘No, because you know that could mean trouble’.”
“Pag lumabas yang that is trouble, anong ibig sabihin niyan from the mouth of a president?” he said.
Asked how China’s warning could be reconciled with a provision in the 1987 Constitution on protecting the nation’s EEZ, Duterte said, “That is a provision for the thoughtless and the senseless. The protection about economic rights, about the economic zone, resources? I am protecting the country and 110 Filipinos.”
“Ang China, pareho ng Pilipino hindi mo pwede hiyain. Magwawala ‘yan at magpuputak. . . .Ganun ‘yan eh. Magpunta ako doon, sabihin ko, Get out because this is the Constitution. Sabihin sa’yo: Naubusan ka na ng toilet paper? Gamitin mo ‘yan,” he said.
“Because that means war. And that piece of paper, the Constitution, would become meaningless with no spirit except desperation, agony, and suffering,” Duterte added.
Duterte said China has missiles that could reach Manila in seven minutes. He added that to China, the portion of the sea they are claiming is theirs.
“Ngayon sabi ko, turuan ninyo ako paano na sinagot na ako ni Xi Jinping noon, there will be trouble,” he said.
“Ang Pilipino, may kwitis. Ang China, may kwitis. Pero ang tip ng kwitis na ‘yan is an atomic bomb. May kwitis tayo dito ng atin. Ang ating kwitis, ang warhead, ulo, is just sparklers. Pang-pista lang itong atin, hindi ito pang-giyera,” he added.