Presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte says he doesn’t plan to engage China in a shooting war which would unnecessarily cost Filipino lives.
But this won’t stop him from reclaiming the Spratlys Islands from the Chinese through sheer bravado.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Duterte declared in a press conference: “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 and when I reach Spratlys, I will erect the Filipino flag. I wil tell them (Chinese), Suntukan o barilan?”
This is Duterte’s alternative to going against China’s much superior firepower which he said would end up as a massacre. “Ano ako gago? Patay lahat yan,” said Duterte.
Duterte said that if elected president, he’d make sure the United Nations Tribunal votes in favor of the Philippines claim on the Spratlys which has been taken over by China. Or else his administration would not honor it’s adverse decision like China has declared. “Hindi ako maniniwala sa sasabijn ng tribunal na ‘ o Philippines ganito ha.’ No, no, non to he’ll with you guys,” said Duterte.
Just like the Arroyo administration, Duterte said he was open to exploring the Spratlys jointly with China as long as the latter provide the country with share of revenue and investments in railways in Mindanao and trains from Manila to Bicol and Batangas.