“You know, we are ruled – as a civilized nation and as members of the community – by the laws that govern whatever happen in the seas as we go along our business,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on June 17 at the anniversary celebration of Philippine Navy.
The President made the statement with regards to the Recto (Reed) Bank incident around midnight of June 9 between Chinese and Filipino fishing vessels.
“There will be rules for a military confrontation. There will be rules for a mistaken identity attack. There is a rule for fishermen’s boats. There is a rule for an aircraft carrier bumping a banca boat, a fishing boat,” he explained.
He said that “with all the – ‘yung galit and one national officials, even urging sending the grey ships, warships doon sa China Sea. Alam mo, gusto ko ‘yan. Kung ako lang ang papiliin niyo, gusto ko ng action. But I am not in my boyhood age anymore.”
“You do not send grey ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko ‘yan. Do not make it worse because there is a – that’s a fertile ground for [war],” he added towards the end of his speech.
He added that the Philippines “can never be ready in a nuclear war. Because in a nuclear war kung bitawan lahat ‘yan, Earth will dry up and we will all be destroyed and that is the end of everything.”
“I do not now issue statement because there is no investigation and there is no result. Then the only thing that we can do is to wait and give the other party the right to be heard. Importante ‘yan eh,” he noted.