“We are neutral, we will continue to talk with China. This is not the time to be fighting over the South China Sea because it only would lead into a war,” President Rodrigo Duterte said during a press conference in Davao City on February 9.
However, the President has a different position when it comes to the Philippine Rise, formerly Benham Rise.
“But again I’m putting notice to the world that the Philippine Rise, which we call Benham Rise, is ours. It’s ours. And the economic zone is ours,” he said.
“‘Yung nakabaon doon sa ilalim atin yun. Eh continental shelf is parang bukid ‘yan. I hope it does not reach Guam now because Guam will be ours also,” he said. “But just the same, we cannot fight America, just like China. I’ll just keep quiet.”
“But if you get something there from the economic zone, I will order the Navy to fire,” he said. “Now, if you can claim a whole of an ocean, do not mess up with me with my economic zone here. Nawala na nga dito eh, eh ‘di kukunan mo pa ‘di parang pinutol mo na ang dalawang kamay ko.”