A 'cop-out': Lawmaker slams Duterte's sea row stance, says PH cannot let China remain a bully

President Rodrigo Duterte's latest stance on West Philippine Sea suggests a

4/22/2021 8:57:00 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte's latest stance on West Philippine Sea suggests a 'cop-out,' Sen. Richard Gordon laments, adding that the country has other ways to stress its sovereign rights over the disputed territory.

President Rodrigo Duterte's latest stance on West Philippine Sea suggests a

"We have to assert ourself. I’m sorry Mr. President, I don't agree with you 100,000% here because you’re supposed to protect and promote the sovereignty of the country," he told CNN Philippines' The Source on Thursday.He added that Duterte should not say that

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the country cannot retake West Philippine Sea without any bloodshed, because the government has a duty to protect the country from any potential incursions in the first place."That is a cop-out. That’s like Chamberlain saying 'we’ll have peace in our time.' The country has a constitutional provision that says the defense of the state is the prime duty of the government," Gordon said.

"If there’s a war, wala tayong maagagawa. Kung susugurin ba tayo tatahimik lang tayo? Papayagan na lang ba nating tapak-tapakan tayo?"he added.[Translation: If there's a war, we cannot do anything about it. If they attack us, do we just remain silent? Will we just let them trample on us?] headtopics.com

Gordon added that the country cannot show China that it is a"pushover" without exhausting other ways — building alliances with other countries like the United States and Japan which are ready to help, and directly telling the Chinese government that what they are doing is wrong.

On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon sided with President Rodrigo Duterte, claiming thatretaking the West Philippine Sea"will be bloody" and"difficult."Critics have repeatedly said no one was asking the Duterte administration to go to war, but they only want him to assert the country's claims.

A statement released by the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea said more assets will be deployed in the disputed territory, including four Philippine Coast Guard vessels, a PCG aircraft, five Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessels for WPS maritime patrols, and Philippine National Police - Maritime Group high speed tactical watercraft and rubber boats for maritime law enforcement in the coastal areas.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has previously summoned Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian over the lingering presence of China's maritime vessels at the Julian Felipe Reef, also known as the Whitsun Reef. It reiterated its demand for the immediate departure of other Chinese vessels in other maritime zones of the Philippines. headtopics.com

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The Philippine government already filed a series of diplomatic protests against China over the continued presence of more than 200 Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.Beijing continues to reject the landmark ruling of the arbitral tribunal in The Hague which recognized in 2016 the Philippines' sovereign rights in areas within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

  Read more: CNN Philippines »

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Oh uh my President vs my presidentiable DickGordonDG 😮🤩 What do you say, my other presidentiable teddyboylocsin ? What do you expect from justa major in Davao! Nothing. What other ways? People keep criticizing what Duterte said. But can only offer vague statements as alternatives