PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said China “just wants to be friends with the Philippines,” even as he warned of Chinese might over the Philippines in the event of conflict over the disputed South China Sea.
“Binigyan nga tayo ng baril, binigyan tayo ng bala, pumunta ako doon (They gave us guns and ammunition, I went there) because America failed to deliver what we ordered,” he said at a campaign rally on Tuesday.
“If I go to war, pupulpugin ang (they will crush my) Navy ko in a matter of minutes. At kung makipag-giyera ako sa (And if I go to war with) China, in seven minutes ‘yung (their) missile nila aabot ng (will reach) Maynila (Manila).”
“Bakit ako makipag-away? Bakit ko ipaubos ang pulis ko pati sundalo ko? Buhay ‘yan (Why should I go to war with China? Why should I sacrifice my police and soldiers? We are talking about lives).”
LET’S JUST BE OCCUPIED
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, for his part, said the Philippines should just allow itself to be occupied by China.
“So kung ganun rin lang, pasakop na tayo, ‘di ba? (If that is the case, let us just allow them to invade us, right?)” Mr. Lacson said in part in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“Alam mo nang mahina ka, ‘wag mo nang ipagsigawan na mahina ka kasi lalo kang ibu-bully (You are aware that you are weak, but you do not need to shout it out because they will only bully you more),” he added.
“I think ang pinakamaganda diyan ay show of good faith, na payagan ang ating mangingisda doon na mangisda, dahil of course, atin naman ‘yun at wag nang gawing issue ‘yung hanapbuhay,” Mr. Gatchalian also said. (I think a show of good faith would be best, that our fishermen would be allowed to fish, because that [area] is [part of our exclusive economic zone] and their livelihood should not be an issue). — Arjay L. Balinbin and Charmaine A. Tadalan