Duterte confronts US over SChina Sea


President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday hit the United States anew, this time for failing to stop Beijing’s island-building activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In his remarks during the celebration of Mindoro People’s Day in Oriental Mindoro, Duterte narrated his recent meeting with US Ambassador Sung Kim, saying he confronted the latter on why the US did nothing to stop China from building on the disputed waters.

Only the US, Duterte said, has the capability to stop China’s actions in the disputed waters, but the superpower appeared to have let the Chinese have their way, to the consternation of neighboring countries.

“I was talking to the ambassador yesterday afternoon in Davao City…I said I’m surprised really Mr. Ambassador because had America really wanted to avoid trouble early on, the overflights could have been shown on the newspapers. There was something brewing, there is something as if a runway was being built and there is some concrete building on the side,” Duterte said.

“Why did you not send the Armada of the Seventh Fleet which is stationed in the Pacific to just make a u-turn and go there and tell them right on their face, stop it? Because there is another set of laws that say you cannot make made-man structures in the high seas,” he added.

The President said the ambassador responded by saying he had a different assignment previously. Kim arrived in Manila on December 1, 2016.

Duterte then reiterated that the Philippines could not afford to go to war over the South China Sea, saying this would result in bloodshed.

The Duterte administration has been pushing for closer ties with China, but the President has vowed to raise the July 2016 international arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines to the Chinese government at some point.

“I am not so much into war. My country is only a small one. On China, I can tell you: We have not abandoned our claim. When I went to China, my first statement was, ‘I come here in good faith and I extend my hand in friendship,’” Duterte said.

“I said, ‘I am not here to impose on anything. As a matter of fact, I do not want to mention it here in your presence.’ But, I said, ‘At any time during my term, we will have to talk about the arbitration of the [South] China Sea and when that time comes, I would present to you the judgment…,’” he added.

Duterte also stressed that he would not entertain any military alliance with China, noting that the Philippines has an existing Mutual Defense Treaty with the US.

“[T]heir (Chinese) perception is that we are dovetailing, we are following the foreign policy of America. I said ‘No, we are a sovereign power,’ and I think that we should chart our own. Although, we cannot enter into any military alliance with any other country because of the [mutual defense]pact, which was signed by our forefathers many years ago. Until now, it is enforced so it would be an incongruity for us to be joining alliances militarily with other countries,” he said.

On Tuesday, Malacañang said the Philippines and China had agreed to set up a mechanism on how to “properly handle” maritime disputes, and representatives from both countries would meet in May to craft a bilateral scheme.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and President Duterte discussed the issue during a meeting in Davao City on Monday.


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  1. John Chameleon on

    When Obama visited the Philippines for the first time, he flaunted that America will never interfere in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. This speech gave a hint to the Chinese, whom America owes more than a trillion dollars, to hasten the construction of the islands in the South China Sea. Betrayed, the countries were at the mercy of the powerful Chinese.

    Brother Obama handed in to the Chinese the disputed areas. But after the islands were almost finished, Obama did a despicable silly drama by complaining about the freedom of navigation. That is deception and treachery to America’s allies right from the hand of the insidious liberal. He even tried to interfere in the Philippine domestic affair on the war on drugs. Sadly for him, our President dissed his fraud adventurism.

    So, Mr.President, don’t ask where was America when the Chinese were building the islands.

  2. John Chameleon on

    America has the economy and armed forces to stop China if they wanted to. Even with the trillion dollars debt that America owe China, they can still force China to get out of their illegal and intrusional island-construction during Obama’s time. But the liberal bigot who even threatened Duterte on a domestic war on drugs preferred to hand in the disputed territory to China.

    China would shudder under an economic sanction by America. But unfortunately the countries involved in the territorial disputes were betrayed by Obama, the insidious democrat who wants America to fold.

  3. Sinabi ni PRRD na he will talk to them about the SCS disputes sa tamang panahon. He cares for our country and going to war is a stupid idea. parang lalaban ka na ang dala mo lang eh itak pero ang kalaban mo eh laser guided missile. We are under-equipped at higit sa lahat ngayon palang bumabawi sa kagamitan. One logic that I’m seeing here is befriend them first then take time to talk about the disputes. Advantage na yung pagkapanalo natin sa international court. Those who keep running their mouth na binenta ni PRRD ang mga island dun and we should wage a battle, kayo kaya mauna dun and let’s see if you have the guts to do it. It takes strategy to handle this and I think PRRD is doing it right.

  4. Vietnam stood up against the aggression of communist China and halted them in their tracks. Duterte is now desperate to obscure his traitorous betrayal of the Philippine nation.

    • arnel amador on

      i wish to remind you that all those shits in SCS happened long before digong plans to even consider running for ph presidency. wondering why trillanes, with orders from pnoy, is not even mentioned when in fact he was travelling back and forth to china in 2012, that time when scarborough shoul was totally controlled by the chinese. trillanes and pnoy have a lot of explaining to do to the people of ph….put it at the back of your head. well, trillanes still there barking, like their bff US! yup, US was barking before still is until today, hence, SCS are now having all those shits scattered around! digong is right, why not stop china before….

    • Jule Westcott on

      VietNam did not stop China. China in 1979 sent human waves and defeated VietNam in one day. Get your facts straight.

  5. Melchor Escobia on

    Why is it now that the yellows and their magdalo partner are crying out loud against Duterte on this issue? Duterte was Mayor of Davao when China intruded in the WPS. Who allowed China there? Its not Duterte. Why blame him? He is at best doing the cleaning of the mess now. Talking to China. Know your enemy before you go to war. Improve the AFP, equip the Phil Navy, improve reconaissance eqpt, mobility, things like that. Improve the economy, build infrastructures, so the people will be on your side when the time come. Time is wealth. Meanwhile, how can a President take advantage of time. Talk peace. Take care of his people. Stop corruption. Corruption bleeds the money needed to improve the AFP, the Navy, the Airforce, the Marines. Until now the Phil have no tracking systems, Radar or Sonar. Why is that? CORRUPTION,.that’s why. So the President is stopping that now. Now, we need able men and women on conventional warfare if things come to that. Not criminals and drug addicts. Illegal drugs a menace to society. Who will stop them if not Duterte? Previous govt tried and failed. Davao is 3 times bigger than Metro Manila, 6 times bigger than Cebu but he governed it well, established a GDP growth of 9, a first in the country. He had built a city. The whole country is his subject now and he is now building a nation. A herculian job indeed ahead of him. Critics are also doing their thing, but sadly these critics are destroying a country.

  6. our president is on the right track. only those who can not understand things are the ones complaining.

    • your apparent understanding of things is so profound you don’t know you’re deep asleep. wake up.

  7. Pamela Tuansing on

    These stupid warmongers have no clue what it is like to be in a war zone. Bombs will be dropping when you least expect it and hitting civilians. Children are unable to go to school, women are raped wholesale, hunger and homelessness is everywhere. The US Mutual Defense Treaty does not even require the US to help the Philippines by joining the fight in case of a shooting war. Even if the US military gets involved we can expect to be bombed by both sides. In WW II lots of Filipinos were killed by American bombs during the so-called war of liberation. After the war the Filipinos were stripped of their US citizenship and the US set up one puppet government after another. They killed President Manuel Roxas in Clark Air Base and made it look like a heart attack. They bombed the plane of President Ramon Magsaysay. They removed Marcos and installed Cory. They removed Erap and installed Gloria. They installed Noynoy Aquino. Now that we have DU30 the Americans are doing their best to remove him using their media and captive organizations like the UN and AI.

  8. Once again, the US is in SCS to establish and implement freedom of navigation and aviation. The chinks can not claim the scs as a private lake and the air above it. PERIOD! As for stopping the chinks from incursion in other nations’ eez, it is up to the individual nation to protect their own sovereignity. The PH not wanting to confront the chinks is a very lame excuse. As stated often, war is not the only option. But the PH government is too busy cannibolizing it;s own people and raiding the national treasury for their pockets. It does not want any collateral damage to confront the chinks, and so will let the chinks run amok in their eez until the chinks turn the PH into their province. That would serve the PH right, No independent nation in this world, no matter how poor, weak, outdated will prostrate themselves to another country without a fight. If nation can not walk the talk of being independent, then become a province. The PH will not lift a finger, but instead blame the US for its lack of respect from the chinks incursions and from the international community.

    On the other hand, PH should become a chink province, so the chinks can control, prosecute and eliminate the rabid corrupt officials inherent and embeded all government positions and eliminate the military and np which sole purpose has been against it’s own Pilipino people.

  9. Pres. Duterte, at first does not want America in the Philippines. Now, he is blaming America for doing nothing. What kind of leader is Duterte. Hot and Cold?

  10. So now it is okay for the US to send in their military when they feel ? They don”t need to be asked or invited by the Government? If The US feels ISIS is taking hold in Mindanao is it okay for the US to launch its own offensive there??
    This president and his blind and mindless cohorts and followers need to make their minds up and stand up and be responsible for what is going on. Not blaming Philippine failures on other nations.

  11. Well, if people would want the Philippines to be the next war zone we could impose our claim right up to China’s nose. However, if we want prosperity and progress, we can always talk about it like normal human beings trying to settle a dispute.

    Those war mongers poor excuse of a senators and politicians Delima and for somebody’s sake “Trillanes” the traitor who sold out the Philippines to China and now backfiring and saying we are shortselling ourselves to China.. well, they can always leave the Philippines and enjoy their filipino citizenship away from this country away from the confines of the Philippine territoy.

    • We have to think like the Chinese people do. They are businessmen foremost, so we do not have to worry about our economic relationship status quo with them. It will stay as is. Our nation’s territorial policies strictly adhering to the Hague Court ruling, should be distinct from our trade and economic perspectives.

  12. reformed criminal on

    PDU30 is doing the “sarzuela” and washing his hands at the same time, as well. He is a lawyer indeed, and turning the table around, to be in a more advantageous position based on what he have said before and what he is saying now. PDU30 hated Mr. Goldberg and Obama, during the early days of his Presidency that he even turned down the U.S. Aid and Military Aid, and went on to China begging. Now Uncle Digong is doing very well and in good terms again with the U.S., and should realize by now that the Philippines needs the U.S., not the other way around. He should not get distracted on what he is doing now, and continue his fight for the Filipinos. You are in the right path, Mr. President, and run over everybody that get into your way; the people are behind you. South China Sea can wait, need to clean the drug infested society first and make the streets safe for everybody.

  13. I’m not pro du30 but he is right. We have no capability to fight china. We cannot start a war with china asuring that there is no bloodshed. Yes we won the court but we still cannot stop them from making artificial islands on those waters. It also amaze me that are long time poweful ally cannot stop them.

    • Your long time alley will only help you, if you will ask them. The problem with DU30 is that he
      did not only fail in asking his allies for help but pissed them off too with his rhetoric.

      While we cannot fight China we can continue making the world know that by going against the UN
      mandate of who is the true owner of the disputed territories China will be exposed for what she is.
      a bully.

  14. Duterte indeed has a point and it reflects what I had felt during the time of Noynoy. I agree with him even though I did not vote for him. For example, Noynoy asked our navy to leave Panatag Shoal, if I remember right at the behest of the US when Chinese navy ships were showing their force there. What happened next was the Chinese occupied that area and told our fishermen not to fish in the area. The US had known for a long time about the Chinese activity in the South China Sea and yet they did nothing. Obama had done the same thing in Syria. Trump would have not allowed it no matter how much the liberals hate Trump.

  15. RE: “Duterte confronts US over SChina Sea”

    There is NO recorded record of help from the USA requested in this matter.

    Re: Malacañang said the Philippines and China had agreed to set up a mechanism on how to “properly handle” maritime disputes, and representatives from both countries would meet in May to craft a bilateral scheme.

    Suggest supplying our deligation to this so called ‘mechanism’ with China with an ample supply of lubricant. They will sorely need it !

  16. The President’s action vis a vis China looks rational and pragmatic enough. We are a small country with an under-equipped armed forces that can’t afford to engage in a shooting war with a superpower like China. But he never said we will abandon our claim to those reefs in the West Philippine Sea but said he will take it up with China in a more appropriate time. What’s so hard to understand about that? That’s reasonable enough. To everything there is a season. Why some folks like Delima and of all people, a coward like Trillanes, are accusing Pres. Duterte of abandoning our territories is mindlessly idiotic, to say the least. Eh, hindi iyan nakukuha sa tapang, but through a more sober approach. Tirades against China like what BS Aquino used to regularly exhibit were meaningless as they were not accompanied by teeth in our armed forces capability, Nagta tapang-tapangan si Trillianes, eh, sa Oakwood nga lang hindi pa nagawa ng tama, tapos ngayon mag-aambisyon pa to fight China! Now that’s mindless!

    • And now president is blaming the USA for allowing China to build on the disputed territories that the UN
      has ruled belong to the Philippines.
      “Why did you not send your armada and stop the Chinese in what they are doing?” he asks. If I were the US I would have told the president “why would we interfere in a dispute that involve your country
      when you yourself has not come out in protest of what the Chinese are doing in your own backyard?”
      Sending out a loud protest for what the Chinese are doing from our president is not declaration of war but rather a reminder to all that the Chinese has encroached in our land.
      Mr. President. Do not be like US president Trump who changes his mind as often as he opens his mouth. Flip flopping will only confuse those around you.