“Plenty of critics, both sides, claim about nothing has been done to retake forcefully or physically the South China Sea. Alam mo, unless we are prepared to go to war, I would suggest that we better just call off and treat this, I said, with diplomatic endeavors,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in his 5th SONA delivered July 27, 2020.
“They are in possession. So what can we do? We have to go to war and I cannot afford it. Maybe some other president can, but I cannot. Inutil ako diyan, sabihin ko sa inyo. And I’m willing to admit it. Talagang inutil ako diyan. Wala akong magawa. I cannot,” he added.
“The moment I send my Marines there at the coastal shores of Palawan, tinamaan ng cruise missile lahat iyan. Hindi pa nga naka-set sail iyan eh, sabog na,” President Duterte said.
The President noted that “we worked without fail to protect our rights in the South China Sea, neither beholden nor a pawn to anyone. We broadened the boundaries of Philippine diplomacy.”
“We built productive ties with everyone willing to engage us on the basis of equality and mutual respect. And, we redefined our relationships with our most important partners, placing the country in a far better position to advance our interests in an evolving regional order and emerging global problems,” Duterte added.