Duterte says it's fine if US won't let PH procure arms

Published May 14, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte told the United States of America (USA) that it would be fine if they decide to not let the Philippines procure weapons from them, saying the country has no enemy anyway.

President Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Malacañang Golf Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 13, 2021. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte made the statement as he once again tried to address the West Philippine Sea issue.

In his pre-recorded public address aired Friday, Duterte urged the US to just bear with the situation.

“Mag-tiis na lang tayo. Maski di mo ako bigyan ng mga bagong armas, okay lang yan. Wala naman tayo kalaban (Let’s just bear with it. Even if you do not give me arms, that’s fine. We don’t have enemies, anyway),” he said.

“Kung wala tayong kaaway (If we don’t have enemies), we don’t fight with anybody, there’s no point in acquiring ballistic missiles,” he added.

The President, however, has one request to the US.

“We just ask to be left alone and live in peace,” he said.

Chinese vessel incursions in the West Philippine Sea over the past few months prompted Duterte to talk about the West Philippine Sea issue. On Friday, Duterte reiterated that it was America that caused the Philippines to lose islands to China following a standoff in 2012.

“It was the Americans who brokered critical talks to solve the impasse there,” he said.

“Sabi ng Amerika (The US said), ‘We will not allow ourselves to be involved in territorial disputes.’ ‘Di nga kayo nakialam pero pinaatras ninyo ang Pilipinas (Yes, you didn’t meddle but you urged us to withdraw our ships),” he said.

Despite this, the President said he does not have bad blood with the US.

“I do not have a quarrel with the Americans but please don’t include me,” he said.