Pres. Duterte dares US to fire the first shot against China

Pres. Duterte dares US to fire the first shot against China

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made another bold statement egging its mutual defense ally and superpower United States of America to send
“all their armaments” to the South China Sea and stop Beijing’s militarization in the disputed sea.

“Let America declare the war. Let them assemble all their armaments there in the South China Sea,” Duterte said in Leyte.

“Fire the first shot, and I’d be glad to do the next. May RP-US pact man kaha tayo (We have a US-RP pact), then let us honor it. Do you want trouble? Okay, let’s do it,” he added.

The US 7th fleet based in Japan (photo credit to owner)

Duterte reiterated that the country alone cannot win a shooting war against the Asian giant, the President  dared the US to “fire the first shot” in the South China Sea.

“Ngayon sabi ko, dalhin mo ‘yang lahat ng eroplano mo, barko mo dito sa China. Fire the first shot at nandito kami sa likod. Sige, laban tayo kung sinong mapulpog. Totoo. America,” he said.

(Now I say, bring all your airplanes and ships to China. Fire the first shot, and we are behind you. Let’s fight and see who will be pummeled. True. America.)

Duterte also urged its Asian neighbor not to “overdo things” in the South China Sea as it continues its reclamation and militarization of the disputed area.

“Kaya ‘yan ang problema natin (That’s our problem). I hope that China would not overdo things also because there is always America pushing us, egging us,” he said. “Anong tingin ninyo sa Pilipino, wati (What do you think of Filipinos, earthworm)?” he said.

Why only now?

President Duterte questions again the US inaction when everything in the South China Sea is just starting.

“Sabi nga ni (According to) President Aquino, ‘the only country who can confront China would really be America,’” he said. “Itong America alam nila. May Seventh Fleet sila. Bakit hindi nila pinuntahan doon sa Spratly and say, ‘Hey guys, you are not supposed to build an artificial islands in the high seas (The Americans know. They have the Seventh Fleet. They didn’t go to the Spratly and say, “Hey guys, you are not supposed to build an artificial islands in the high seas. Why?).

That is exactly prohibited by international law, and the fact that you are constructing it within the exclusive economic zone of our friend, the Philippines,’” he continued. “America could have done it earlier but did not. I am surprised why.”

“Hinayaan nila. Ngayon na medyo nandiyan na ‘yan (They allowed it. Now that it’s there), all the guns are there, all the missiles are mounted, they want us to enforce our fisheries law and to protect the environment there. Tanungin ko sila (I’ll ask them). Are we in possession of China Sea? Because if we are not […] You are […] out of your rockers,” he added.

Duterte even dared his fierciest critics to run the government with respect to the handling of the South China Sea

“Itong, itong, itong si Carpio, si Albert […] pati isang Carpio, si Morales. I don’t know how they would […] Gusto ko ibigay sa kanila ang gobyerno (I want to give them the government to Antonio Carpio, Albert del Rosario and Conchita Carpio-Morales),” he said.

Why China?

Duterte then question China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea, but had to be cautious regarding Manila’s victory and enforcing the 2016Hague ruling that favored the country, for the fear of war.

“Ngayon lang ako nakita ng isang […] country na sinolo ang isang ocean. They are attacking me on the collateral na I should bar China from fishing, from destroying… Gusto nila pumunta ako doon (They want me to go there),” he said.

“How do I enforce the arbitral ruling? Magpunta ako doon, dala ko Navy ko (Should I go there and bring my Navy and insist and say, ‘Hey, you guys, you go out’)?” And China [would say], “No, what do you want?” So magka-giyera tayo (So we are going to have a war),” he added.

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Report from PDI

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