Tired of hearing detractors criticize him that he is not fighting for the welfare of Filipinos, President Duterte is challenging the United States, Great Britain, and France to join the Philippines is going to the South China Sea and make a stand against China.
Duterte made the statement following the criticisms that he is not fighting for the welfare of the 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned at sea after their boat was hit by a Chinese vessel near the Recto Bank on June 9.
In a speech in Malacañang, Duterte said that if western nations are brave enough, they should help the Philippines claim its territories in the disputed waters.
“Ito ang hamon ko, America, Britain, France: Mag-assemble tayo dito sa Palawan tapos diretso na tayo doon sa Spratly, Agawain na natin kung maagaw natin (This is my challenge to America, Britain, and France: Let’s assemble in Palawan and head straight to the Spratlys. Let’s claim it if we can),” he said.
“Hindi ako sa hindi natatakot, kung gusto nila, sabi ko nga mag-imbita sila, kahit hindi naman talaga natin kaya ‘yang put, karami ng armas diyan ngayon (It’s not that I’m not scared but if they want, they can invite others because we really don’t have a chance against China and their numerous arms),” he added.
“Sabay-sabay kami. Ako, si Trump, diyan sa deck. Teleskopyo, malapit na tayo. ‘Pag sumabog tayong apat eh ‘di okay lang (We will go there together, including me and Trump at the deck, looking through the telescope. If the four of us die from an explosion, then it’s alright),” he continued.
However, Duterte said that he will not put at stake the lives of Filipinos over the incident at the Recto Bank.
“Sabi nila (They say), ‘Duterte is not protecting the interest of the Filipino.’ Goddamn shit. You want me to put the lives of 110 million Filipino by going into trouble?” he said.
In his speech, Dutere also reiterated how America supposedly did nothing to stop China when they were starting to make reclamations in the disputed water.
“America, who was the only power at that time who could stop it, never lifted a finger. Iyan ang totoo. Nandito man tayo lahat (That’s the truth, we all know that),” he said.
“And they allowed it to become a military base. Now ngayon hindi na nila kaya (Now they can’t do anything anymore). But at that time I supposed hindi na talaga kaya ng America. Kasi (America really cannot do anything because) all you’d have to do is to bring in the Seventh Fleet and confront China and say, ‘Hey you guys, you cannot build an island in the high seas. That is simply prohibited,’” he added.
“Or better still to confront China. Ang France, Britain at America magpdala sila ng barko diyan sa (They could have sent a boat and told) China, ‘Hindi iyo ‘to (This is not yours). You cannot claim an island,’” he continued.