‘If you’re bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea?’ – Duterte to Carpio, Del Rosario | Inquirer News

‘If you’re bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea?’ – Duterte to Carpio, Del Rosario

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 02:06 AM April 29, 2021
west philippine sea Duterte told: Joint exploration with China in West PH Sea unconstitutional

West Philippine Sea INQUIRER FILE

MANILA, Philippines —  “If you’re bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea?”

President Rodrigo Duterte posed this question, phrased in Filipino, to retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario as China continued to keep its presence in the disputed waters.

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“That was during your time. It was your time when you were still in position. If you’re bright, why did we lose it? Now it’s China who’s holding it. And it’s me you’re pressuring to find a solution,” Duterte said in Filipino.

The Philippines might have won its case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. But Duterte said: “Nobody in the United Nations will go to war for us.”

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So the Philippines was “at a loss how to get back physically the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

The President also said China’s grip on the disputed sea was already tight when he assumed office.

“When I got here, we had already lost. China really assumed that it was theirs,” Duterte said.

“So I have a choice of going to war. We’re all going to die because we don’t have arms. I will just send my soldiers to hell, which I will never do. I will not let my soldiers fight. If there has to be a fight, then we have to win,” he went on.

China has consistently refused to acknowledge the 2016 ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that invalidated its claim in the entire South China Sea.

Recently, the Philippines has begun filing daily diplomatic protests over the continuing presence of the Chinese ships at Julian Felipe Reef.

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TAGS: Albert del Rosario, Antonio Carpio, China, Rodrigo Duterte, West Philippine Sea
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