Duterte cautious of strong statements concerning Recto Bank incident - Defense analyst

Duterte cautious of strong statements concerning Recto Bank incident - Defense analyst

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s leadership as president of the Philippines is again being tested.

With the different criticisms from the many detractors the President have taken a cautious stance in making a strong statement regarding the Recto bank incident involving 22 Filipino fishermen who were left floating in the West Philippine Sea last June 9.

ABS-CBN radio arm DZMM was able to have an exclusive interview with Associate Professor Chester Cabalza of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) said Pres. Duterte will not risk the current relationship of the Philippines with China over the Recto Bank incident.

(photo credit to owner)

Cabalza explains that Duterte will likely avoid precedents which may cause China to retaliate by way of pulling out all of its “security investments” in the country.

"Dahil nasa level ng strategic partnership tayo with China, ayaw (ng gobyerno) mabulilyaso yung security investment binigay ng China," Cabalza said.

"Nuong nilaban natin yan (West Philippine Sea), may mga consequences. Bumaba yung Chinese tourism in the Philippines. Then there was this issue with (our) bananas, hindi tayo pwede mag-export sa kanila. At shinut-down yung mga ibang diplomatic activities natin," Cabalza said.

According to Cabalza, the present administration  does not want to rock the boat.

"Huwag natin galawin yan kasi very maselan yung relationship natin in a security aspect with China. Kumbaga, di pa natin napeperfect yung ating temperament of our engagement with (China)," Cabalza said.

It may be recalled that Duterte  said the sinking of the Filipino fishing boat was a “maritime incident”

Cabalza , however said the Chinese fishermen responsible for the ramming of the Filipino f should be persecuted to the full extent of the law.

"I've been always telling na gamitin natin yung strength natin which is the legal means," Cabalza said.

PH compared to Vietnamn & Indonesia

If not for the lack of Philippine naval assets, we can also be like Vietnam  and Indonesia which for years has been destroying Chines fishing vessels.

"Kung titingnan, medyo malayo ang military might ng Vietnam at Indonesia compared sa atin. Vietnam has been going at it with China for thousands of years. Bagito pa tayo sa ganitong situation," Cabalza said.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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