Duterte says no US bases in Subic
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) breaks away from the USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) after a replenishment-at-sea in the Philippine Sea on July 22, 2020.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Beam/Released)

Duterte says no US bases in Subic

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - July 27, 2020 - 10:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte won't allow foreign bases in Subic, saying it will lead to a war that may result in the "extinction of the Filipino race."

During his fifth state of the nation address, Duterte said he read something about Americans' supposed plan to go back to Subic last month.

"I'll just put on record my thoughts. I have nothing against America, I have nothing against China. But if you put bases here, you double the spectacle of a most destructive... just like Manila in the Second World War, one of the most devastated cities in the world," the president said.  

"You put up a base at this time? This will ensure that a war breaks out because there will be atomic arsenals brought in. This will ensure the extinction of the Filipino race," he added.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the Philippines "pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory."

The Washington Post, writing about the proposed ban on nuclear weapons in the Philippines in 1986, wrote that this would affect US military interests. It also noted that the US "maintains a policy of neither confirming nor denying whether nuclear weapons are stored on its ships, planes or at overseas bases." 

READ: VFA termination could scrap EDCA, suspend Mutual Defense Treaty — analysts

Duterte, who has been accused of being too soft with China on the West Philippine Sea issue, admitted that he cannot do much when it comes to the maritime row.  
He reiterated that the longtime dispute should be addressed through diplomacy.

"Now, plenty of critics, both sides, claim about nothing has been done to retake forcefully or physically the South China Sea. You know, unless we are prepared to go to war, I would suggest that you better just call off and treat it us a diplomatic endeavor. China is claiming it. We are claiming it. China has the arms, we do not have it. So? It's simple as that," he said.  

"They are in possession of the property... So what can we do? We have to go to war and I cannot afford it. Maybe some other president can but I cannot. Inutil ako diyan, sabihin ko sa inyo (I am useless on that, I tell you). And I'm willing to admit it: Talagang inutil ako diyan (I'm really useless on that)."

Duterte said his administration works without fail to protect the country's rights in the South China Sea, "neither beholden or a pawn to anyone."

"We broaden the boundaries of Philippine diplomacy. We build productive ties with everyone willing to engage us on the basis of equality and mutual respect. And we redefine our relationships with our most important partners, placing the economy in a far better position to advance our interests in an evolving regional order and emerging global problems," he added.

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