DAVAO CITY, Apr. 10, 2017 – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the construction of structures over at least nine to 10 small islands in the South China Sea, a gentle assertion of its rights over the potentially disputed areas on the west of the Philippines.
The President remarked that the Philippines needs to assert its rights over the islands.
However, he clarified there would be no military installations in the said islands.
“I ordered the occupation of the ten or nine islands that are just near our shores, because there’s a heightening of the geo-political issues. And eventually, maybe a violent low intensity of war over here,” President Duterte said.
“At kung mag-upakan sila diyan, tayo’ng walang kamuwang-muwang, talagang matatamaan tayo. Kasi everybody knows that the United States will be stockpiling their weapons there. And hindi iyan… sabi nila hindi raw. Pasalamat ako kung hindi, because I do not want to get involved in a war between nations. I have extended my hand in friendship to the Chinese government.”
China, Duterte said, could relax.
However, he asked the more powerful nations to carefully take note of the effect of the pivot struggle over the potentially resource-rich area.
“China can relax. We are friends. We will not go to war with you. We’re just trying to maintain the balance of the geo-political situation there. Eh lahat kumukuha eh; tapos those islands are vacant. And with the developments of …the fast rate of arms being placed there, baka maunahan pa ako at mapapasubo ako,” Duterte said.