Duterte: Philippine military defense no match vs China
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – President Duterte reiterated that the Philippines’ military defense is no match against China, claiming that Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea have missiles that could reach Manila.
Asked how he would deal with reports from the military’s Western Command regarding the presence of 275 Chinese vessels spotted in the West Philippine Sea from January to March this year, the President said government has no choice but to find a “compromise” with China.
“We drive them away by force, can we do that? Unless we want to commit suicide,” Duterte said Thursday here during his visit for the 31st Annual Convention of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines.
“If we go to war, the first step of China will be to launch its missiles. In seven minutes it will arrive in Manila. We go into a compromise for the time being because if we go to war, if there is a violent conflict, we would never win and I would suffer beyond imagination,” he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the presence of these ships are “illegal” and a “clear violation of Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.”
“I assure you, if they kill or arrest people there who are Filipino then that would be the time when we would decide on what to do,” Duterte said without going into details. /muf
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