When asked about diplomatic actions being taken by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) against China’s actions in West Philippine Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines is not ready to go to war and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not go on a suicide mission.
“We cannot afford a war at this time because it will result in a massacre. I am not prepared to lose
my soldiers and policeman for a simple adventurism,” President Duterte said during a press briefing upon his arrival from South Korea on June 5.
“Diplomatic protest, everytime we open our mouth, we are protesting actually. And if you might want to know, the first time I met President Xi, I already protested and insisted that we will dig our own oil there,” he added. “And the response was always, I said, it might lead into some kind of trouble.”
“If this is historical claim and this is an arbitration award, now, who wins? Nobody. Can I rely now on America and drop the first bomb when we attack?” he said.
“If all of my soldiers will die there and all of the policemen to assist them, nadisgrasya ang Pilipinas, sino ang managot? I,” he added. “If I do that, I either I am inviting trouble within my country or the military and police will oust me.”
“Sigurado ba kayo na susunod ang military if it means a massacre right there on the beach of Palawan?” he said.
President Duterte added that the military may not return the power to civilian if coup d’état happens.
“Remember that they have learned their lessons in several occasions in this country. You are not sure this time if they will give it back to the civilians. Remember that,” he said.
However, Duterte emphasized that as long as the military will not be asked for an impossible, they will obey.