Duterte's joke to Navy: One day, Philippines will invade other nations
A hundred years from now, it will be the Philippines invading other nations and not the other way around.
This was President Rodrigo Duterte's joke to the Philippine Navy on its 120th anniversary on Tuesday, May 22.
"I therefore ask each of you to do your part so that in the next 120 years we can establish a naval force that will last a lifetime and maybe we can start invading other nations," said Duterte in his speech for the event.
The President's quip comes after China deployed bombers to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a move that puts Manila and key military bases within range of Beijing's missiles.
Duterte's administration has come under fire for its weak response to the incident, a sign that China is taking its militarization of the South China Sea to new levels, according to experts.
The Philippine Navy is closely involved in the protection of the country's sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, which China is claiming through its 9-dash line.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio has said that not asserting the ruling "will be handing over to China on a silver platter the West Philippine Sea."
He and former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario urged the Duterte government to file a diplomatic protest against China's recent actions. – Rappler.com
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