President Rodrigo Duterte took a jab at China for being greedy in their claims over South China Sea.
Duterte’s strongest remarks against China to date came around two weeks after the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines, stating that China’s 9-dash line is invalid.
The President touched on the topic when he talked to the troops of the 6th Infantry of Mindanao.
“Kaya wag lang tayo mag-daldal baka ang China Sea ilagay — saan ka nakukuha dito nang buong dagat kunin?” he said.
“Gusto ko sabihin sa kanila, kunin mo na Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean pati Atlantic Ocean, inyo na, kinuha lahat,” Duterte added.
Duterte said China can take it all, seeing as how Mindanao still has a lot of resources for Filipinos to use.
“Maski na sabihin mo na makipag-away ang China. Inyo na ‘yan, mas marami pa kami dito, hindi lang nila alam,” Duterte said.
When Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay released a statement about the favorable Hague ruling, he ‘welcomed’ the decision but called for restraint and sobriety. Duterte also had a no taunt or flaunt policy regarding China.
After the ruling, Duterte was reported to be considering holding bilateral talk with China, even asking former President Fidel Ramos for help.
However, Yasay rejected talks with China if the latter does not consider The Hague ruling.
Duterte was previously criticized for going ‘soft’ on China when he said he’s open to talks with China, a few days before the international tribunal made a ruling on the sea row.