Duterte warns China : Back off Pag-asa Island!

Duterte warns China : Back off Pag-asa Island!

“Pag-asa Island belongs to us. Hindi ako papayag kung pati ‘yung Pag-asa i-occupy nila (I will not allow them to occupy Pag-asa Island). No, of course not.” 
This was the warning given by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte when asked by reporters on the sidelines of his speaking engagement in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, about the hundreds of Chinese vessels that have massed and circling the island.
He maintains that Pag-asa island belongs to the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a campaign rally in Palawan (photo credit to owner)

A few days back a report was released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that hundreds of Chinese Coast guard and fishng vessels has “swarmed” the Philippine-held Pag-asa Island.
“I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you to lay off Pag-asa [Island] because I have soldiers there,” Duterte said.
“If you touch it, that’s another story. Then I will tell my soldiers ‘prepare for suicide missions.’”
But the President , however made it clear that he is not going to war with China over territorial disputes, explaining he would work for a “compromise” instead.
He explained that he was not ready to do war with the Asian giant, because to do so would be like sending his soldiers to death.
“We go into a compromise for the time being [precisely because], if we go to war or there is a violent conflict, we would never win and I would suffer beyond imagination. I would just go there to send my soldiers and policemen to be slaughtered. I am not prepared to do that,” the President said.
“Kung gusto natin (If we want), we have two options — we drive them away by force, can we do that? Unless we want to commit suicide,” the President said.
“If you go to war, the first step of China would be to launch its missile in seven minutes [and] it would arrive in Manila before you can make a fourth of your journey to where you want to go,” he added.

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Report from  Manila Times

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