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Huwag masyadong dreamer! Duterte says he’s just being ‘realistic’ not to assert claim in West PH Sea

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President Rodrigo Duterte said he was just being realistic in choosing not to press the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea given China’s military strength.

In a speech in Bukidnon Friday (August 3), Duterte said he tried to bring up the maritime dispute to Chinese President Xi Jinping on his first visit to Beijing but was rebuffed.

“Sabi niya, ‘No, huwag na muna ngayon kasi magkahiyaan eh. We try to avoid… Ano na lang,’” Duterte recalled Xi as saying.

The President again stressed that he cannot go to war to China over the South China Sea because it would be tantamount to sacrificing the lives of Filipino soldiers.

“I cannot go to a war and waste the lives of my soldiers. Ano ba sa — gusto mo ipapatay at first round pa lang? You know reality, it’s always good to dwell on reality. Huwag ka masyadong dreamer na idealist ka,” he said.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration last year invalidated China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea, of which the West Philippine Sea is part.

The administration, however, has said it prefers to resolve the maritime dispute with China theough bilateral and multilateral channels.