“Istorya man lang ‘yon,” said President Rodrigo Duterte regarding his statement during the presidential debate for the May 2016 elections that he will ride a jet ski and go to a West Philippine Sea feature held by China to plant the Philippine flag.
“Iyong sabi ko mag-jet ski ako doon sa China, kalokohan ‘yon. Wala gani akong heaven road. Istorya man lang ‘yon. Maniwala pala kayo,” the President said during the opening ceremonies of the National Special Weapon And Tactics (SWAT) Challenge in Davao City on March 1.
However, the President said he is willing to die defending Philippine Rise from anybody who will try to explore in the area without permission.
“Hindi naman talaga ako nagagalit and I do not use the word war. But if anybody, any country for that matter, would say that they’d want to try and experiment there without our permission and worse begin exploration talks there dito sa Benham or Philippine Rise, hindi talaga ako papayag, and it will mean war,” he said.
“Nandoon na ‘yung mga Marines. Huwag kayong matakot, kasali ako doon. Sabay tayo sa barko. Huwag kayong ma-ano. Pagka baroto lang tayo kasi mahirap lang tayo. Eh ‘di isang baroto tayo pupunta doon,” he added.
The President said “we will never agree to an insult like that na just because ganito lang tayo. Kaya sabi ko: You start to f*** with that – in that area – I’ll go to war.”
“If it’s time to go to heaven, so be it. Huwag kayong matakot, Mauna ako doon. Maniwala kayo, mauna ako doon,” he said.