Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday that time will come Philippines will thank China for creating artificial islands inside our exclusive economic zone in West Philippine Sea.
He said that there is already an arbitral decision in favor of the Philippines. “Those islands are in our exclusive economic zone. There will come a time when China’s might has ceased, when we will have to thank them for those islands,” he said in an interview with Franco Mabanta.
“Clearly, eventually, the artificial islands will be ours if we can get – ask China to leave the islands,” he added.
He also said that when Philippines took an antagonistic stand against China, his fishermen clients from Zambales and Pangasinan were not able to fish in Scarborough shoal, but now with with President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign policy fishermen are able to fish.
“That’s what matters, the right to livelihood without surrendering even an inch of Philippine territory,” he added.
“Even if we wanted to wage war, we can’t, we don’t have the capacity. Secondly, waging war is illegal unless it’s by way of self-defense or when authorized by United Nations,” he explained.
“So our options are limited,” he added. “We have protested, we protested against the islands built, we protested when they put military arms there.”
“There’s nothing new happening in the islands now, they are saying: [China] have completed it, it is effectively a military base. But we’ve known that and we protested that,” he noted.
He said the Department of Foreign Affairs cannot file protests every minute, every day.
“The truth of the matter is better to have friendly relations now, because while we can’t stand up to them let’s not give them the opportunity to use the weapons in these artificial islands against us,” he said.