Duterte: PH no longer acts in ‘shadows of great powers’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines no longer acts in the “shadows of great powers,” President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday as he vowed to fight for what belongs to the Filipino people.
Duterte said this in his final State of the Nation Address as he assured that the Philippines will be a “responsible member” of the international community.
“To our friends in Asean and around the world, thank you for supporting my government, my country, and people. I assure you that the Philippines will remain a responsible member of the international community. And we will work with you to achieve our shared objectives,” Duterte said.
“But make no mistake, gone are the days when the Philippines decides and acts in the shadows of the great powers. We will assert what is rightfully ours and fight for what is rightfully due to the Filipino people,” he added.
The President also brought up the Philippines’ 2016 victory against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which he raised before the United Nations.
Even so, Duterte rehashed what critics call his defeatist stance on the territorial issue, saying there will be a “massacre” if the Philippines goes to war against China over the West Philippine Sea.
“Do you want war against China? I’ll tell you, even on the coast beach of Palawan, before you can take off, the missile of China would be there in about five or 10 minutes. It would be a massacre if I go and fight a war now. We are not yet a competent and able enemy of the other side,” he said.
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