President Rodrigo Duterte won’t raise the United Nation’s (UN) arbitral ruling favoring the Philippines’ diplomatic protest in opposition to China’s expansive declare within the South China Sea at the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

Duterte mentioned the UN arbitral ruling in opposition to China was a non-issue at the regional assembly in Manila.

“We will skip…I will skip the arbitral ruling. It is not an issue here in the Asean. Code of conduct, maybe. But arbitral, it’s only between China and the Philippines. So I’ll skip that,” he informed reporters after a bilateral assembly with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Malacañang on Thursday.

“Why should I challenge somebody there, engage someone with a non-issue?” he added.

While he turned down plans to debate the arbitral ruling, Duterte mentioned the Code of Conduct within the South China Sea should be mentioned through the chief’s summit this weekend.

“It must be taken up but we will not talk about sovereignty or what part of the islands there, I said, because that is not an issue before the Asean summit. What is at issue is the conduct of the parties in the use of South China Sea,” he mentioned.

The President mentioned he would proceed speaking to China, however the matter on the arbitral ruling will probably be mentioned at a later time.

“We cannot, on our own, enforce the judgment of the Arbitral Tribunal,” he mentioned. “Stop dreaming that arbitral [victory] unless we are prepared to go to war,” he mentioned.

Duterte, who has taken steps to fix the Philippines’ strained relations with China, mentioned it was his personal choice to not raise the UN arbitral ruling at the Asean summit.

“Nobody tells me what to do or what to say,” he mentioned when requested if China requested him to not focus on the ruling through the summit.

The Chief Executive mentioned it’s ineffective to make a “strong protest” for now since China had repeatedly mentioned it won’t honor the ruling.

“China said [it’s] completely ignoring the arbitral. So what more can you ask of it? Make noise? For what?” he mentioned.

Asked concerning the aggressive reclamation actions of China within the disputed sea territories, Duterte mentioned “it cannot be an issue anymore” because it has been ongoing.

“What could be the purpose also of discussing it kung wala kang magawa?” he mentioned.

Pressed if the Philippines might strain China by means of worldwide opinion, he mentioned, “You cannot do that, you’re just dreaming. Those are theories which you are dreaming. That’s really the (Barack) Obama style. All dreams.”

“You go into reality. Who will dare pressure? Who can pressure China? Us? Katagal na niyang construction na ‘yan (The construction has been there for a long time). There [were] so many photos and pictures published four years ago,” he mentioned.

Duterte mentioned it was the United States which might have stopped the huge reclamation within the disputed South China Sea but it surely had performed nothing.

“Sino ang makahinto no’n, tayo (Who will stop China, the Philippines)? It’s only America. Eh bakit nila pinayagan ‘yan na ganon na tapos tayo itutulak nilang arbitration, arbitration (Why did they allow it and now we’re being nudged to invoke the arbitration ruling)? Gusto nila mag-suicide tayo (They want us to commit suicide). Masyado kayong bilib sa Amerika eh (You believe too much about America),” he mentioned.

The President earlier hit the inaction of US when China began reclamation actions over the disputed South China Sea years again.


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