President Rodrigo Duterte said during an interview after the 31st Annual Convention of the Prosecutor’s League of the Philippines in Palawan on April that he is certain that China will not occupy the Pag-asa Island amid reports of increased Chinese presence near the island.
“The Pag-asa Island belongs to us – of course, China would never do that. I assure you. Unless China wants a war with us. I — hindi ako papayag kung pati ‘yang Pag-asa i-occupy nila? No, of course not,” he said.
He added that increased Chinese presence, considered as maritime militia, is “part of the conflict because they have gobbled up the whole of China Sea.”
“Para sa kanila, kanila ‘yan. So they feel free to roam around and do whatever — but they actually never harmed or arrested any Filipino,” he added.
“I am sure that it has something to do with the greater game of geopolitics and it is not directed to us. And I assure you that if they kill or arrest people there who are Filipinos, then that would be the time that we will have to decide on what to do,” he said.