“To this day, ni papel o lapis, walang hiningi ang China pati Russia (China and Russia have not asked for anything in return, not even a paper or a pencil),” Duterte said during a gathering of educators in Davao City last Friday.
Duterte defends China amid missile deployment report
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — China has not asked for anything in return for its assistance to the Philippines, President Duterte said as he allayed concerns of some groups over Beijing’s reported deployment of missiles on disputed areas in the South China Sea.

“To this day, ni papel o lapis, walang hiningi ang China pati Russia (China and Russia have not asked for anything in return, not even a paper or a pencil),” Duterte said during a gathering of educators in Davao City last Friday. 

One word was enough to persuade China and Russia to provide help to the Philippines, according to the Chief Executive, unlike western nations who he said are imposing their views on other countries.

“When you talk to China, Russia, isang salita lang (one word is enough). ‘We will be there.’ America, Italy, wala ’yan. Mga puting itlog. Totoo. Takot lang ’yan mamatay (They’re nothing. White eggs. That’s true. They are just afraid to die),” he added.

The President said he wanted to buy firearms from the United States but the American government refused to deliver them because some lawmakers objected to it. The sale was blocked by lawmakers who criticized the human rights record of the Duterte administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to provide the firearms for free, Duterte noted.

The remarks were made a day after American news network CNBC reported that the Chinese military had placed anti-ship and ground-to-air defense systems on outposts in the Spratly Islands, part of which is within Philippine territory. The missiles were deployed on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Zamora (Subi) and Panganiban (Mischief) reefs, the CNBC report quoted intelligence sources as saying. 

Some lawmakers were alarmed by the development, calling it a “creeping invasion.”

Duterte said China has also promised to protect the Philippines once the latter faces security threats. 

“If America agrees to help, which I doubt, they have missiles. But the foot soldiers, America is allergic to that. They have lost so many wars. So China said, ‘We will protect you.’ We will not allow the Philippines to be destroyed. ‘Nandito lang kami at kung gusto mo, anytime, tawagin mo kami (We are here anytime when you need us),’” the President said. 

“She’s (US) not going to protect us... I know the paradigm of the American,” he added.

Despite the firearms given by Beijing and Moscow, Duterte said he was not ready to forge new military alliances. 

“We have the (Philippines-US) pact. If I already have a treaty here, I cannot enter into other treaties,” he said. 

China claims about 90 percent of the resource-rich South China Sea but this is being contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. 

A Hague-based tribunal voided China’s claim in 2016, three years after the Philippines questioned its legal basis. 

Duterte has expressed willingness to set aside the court’s decision to improve the Philippines’ relationship with China. He, however, vowed to raise the matter before the Chinese government within his term. 

The opposition has accused Duterte of selling out the Philippines’ interests in the South China Sea in exchange for Chinese aid but officials have denied this.

 

PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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