- President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the US and former President Aquino for China’s reclamation in disputed waters
- Duterte said the US and Aquino didn’t stop China even if the Philippines won the international case
- The arbitration case was won back in July 2016 when Duterte was already the sitting President
Without mentioning the alleged militarization of China in the South China sea, President Rodrigo Duterte made his point clear on whom to blame for China’s reclamation.
The President first pointed at the United States of America for not stopping China when they had the chance to. Duterte was quoted by ABS-CBN saying, “The only country who could have stopped the Chinese… was America.”
“Hindi puwede ‘yung Navy natin, and I was not the president [then],” he added.
Duterte also said that former President Benigno Aquino III also didn’t put a firm hand when the country won the arbitration case against China. The President said, “Aquino filed an arbitration case, we won. He was still there, bakit hindi niya ginawa kung ‘yan talaga ang gusto ‘yan silang mga yellows?” [Why didn’t he do it if that’s what the yellows wanted?]
“Nanalo kayo nandiyan pa si Aquino… bakit ‘di n’yo pinuntahan at sinita?” he said. [You won when Aquino was still there, why didn’t you go there and called them out?]
The arbitration case under the Aquino administration was submitted in 2013. However, the arbitral tribunal only decided to rule in favor of the Philippines in July 2016, when the sitting President was already Duterte.