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Saan ang tapang ni Duterte? Trillanes doubts ‘Mr. Jet Ski’ will protest China warplanes in Mischief Reef

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Opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday expressed doubts if the Duterte administration will indeed pursue its pronounced plans of taking diplomatic action on the reported sighting of Chinese warplanes on Panganiban Reef.

“The question is, gagawin ba nila? They’re saying it as an option but will they actually do it? ‘Yun ang problema,” he said in a press conference at the Senate.

“Eh ayaw nito ni Mr. Jetski eh di ba? Ke tapang-tapang nung campaign, mag je-Jet Ski pa raw sya dun, magtuturok ng flag. Tapos yun pala gagawin raw tayong Philippine province ng China,” Trillanes said.

The senator was referring to the campaign promise of Duterte who vowed to pursue the country’s claims on the Spratly Islands. “I will ask the Navy to bring me to the nearest point in South China Sea that is tolerable to them and I will ride a Jet Ski. I will carry a flag ans when I reach Spratlys, I will erect the Filipino flag. I will tell them (Chinese), suntukan o barilan?” Duterte was quoted saying in a presidential debate in Dagupan City in April 24, 2016

But the President backtracked on his campaign promise a year saying that he does not want the country to go to war and sometime last March, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was only “joking” when he uttered those words.

“Ang joke po doon ay ‘yung literal na mag je-Jet Ski sya at pupunta sya doon sa mga sundalo. Pero naninindigan ‘yan po ay katotohanan,” Roque reportedly said.

Trillanes, however, stood amenable to the diplomatic action being eyed by Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano, saying that the presence of the Chinese military planes in the Panganiban or Mischief Reef which is located within the West Philippine Sea, is a cause for alarm.

“Kailangan yung ating security officials ay gumagawa na ng contingency plans at proposals kung papano ma a address yan dahil ano yan militarization na yan nung West Philippine Sea. So gusto natin malaman ano ba ang napo-project nila na next moves ng China? So it is a national security concern,” he said.

Trillanes maintained belief that an efforts reviving the country’s rightful claims to the said territory which was already declared by the United Nations (UN) Arbitral Tribunal as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), will only be possible in the next administration.

“Pagka nawala itong administration na ito, that’s the only time na mare- revive natin yung mga claims na yan,” he said.