President Rodrigo Duterte, during his talk to people on April 19, said that the only way to take back West Philippine Sea is through war with China.
“Even if I go there, I said, with Secretary Lorenzana, and sail there and ask questions, wala mang mangyari. Sasagutin ka lang, but you know the issue of the West Philippine Sea remains to be a question forever until such time that you know, we can take it back,” President Duterte said.
“Ang akin niyan is walang iba, giyera lang. If we promote a war against China and America, medyo siguro mamadalian. Pero at what cost to us? Iyan ang problema, iyan talaga ang problema. But we can retake it only by force. There is no way that we can get back the tawag nilang Philippine Sea without any bloodshed,” he added.
Duterte also said that United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) will only be triggered if Philippines was attacked and assaulted. “Alam mo doon sa Mutual Defense Treaty – I don’t know if I’m right – only if we are being attacked and assaulted. It does not include a war that is initiated by us,” he said.
“Hindi tayo puwedeng pumunta doon, makipag-away for the simple reason that – that particular provision in the RP-US states that “only when we are being assaulted or being there in a war, not of our own making”,” the President added.