Duterte to send soldiers on suicide mission vs. China if…
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would order soldiers to go on a “suicide mission” should China overstep in the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island.
Duterte issued the remark amid reports of a surge in the number of Chinese vessels around Pag-asa Island early this year.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command said the vessels are part of the China maritime militia.
“I’m trying to tell China ‘yung Pag-asa is ours we have been there 1974, kung inyo ‘yan bakit hindi ninyo pinaalis kami. Let us be friends but do not touch Pag-asa Island otherwise things would be different,” Duterte said during the campaign rally of PDP-Laban in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
The President, who has been criticized for engaging China in bilateral talks amid the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, said that he is not threatening his “friend” China of war but is giving them a mere “word of advice.”
“Nakikiusap ako, I will not plead or beg but I’m just telling you lay off the Pag-asa because may mga sundalo ako diyan at pag ‘yan ang ginalaw ninyo ibang istorya na iyan. Sabihan ko na mga sundalo ko, prepare for (a) suicide mission,” he said, acknowledging China’s advancement in defense technology.
The Philippines filed a case challenging China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013.
The arbitral tribunal favored with the Philippines three years later, but China refused to recognize the ruling and continue its militarization in the contested areas.
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