Duterte explains soft stance on sea dispute: We can't win May 23, 2018 0 188 12345 AGENCIESMANILA, Philippinesphilippine President Rodrigo Duterte justified on Tuesday the soft stance that the Philippines has taken in the face of China's militarisation in the South China Sea, saying he would not want to destroy the country and military and lose a war.This is Duterte's first comment on the issue after it was reported that China sent long-range bombers to one of its outposts in the South China Sea, a move that demonstrates Beijing's capacity to strike any country in Southeast Asia.~The Department of Foreign Affairs has said that Manila is committed to protecting every inch of Philippine~territory and areas where it enjoys sovereign rights but added that it will not make its diplomatic initiatives public.Speaking during the 112th anniversary of the Philippine Navy, Duterte said that he would have wanted to take a stronger and more"violent" stance on the dispute. "Because in my simple calculation, with every common sense that is available to me, I would have taken a stronger, probable a more violent way of doing it. I said, in my own estimation, it would probably be a great loss to the nation and probably end up losing a war," Duterte said in his long-winding remarks.Duterte's statement however ignored how the Philippines' options are~not limited to waging a war over the issue.Former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said that filing a diplomatic protest is not an act of going to war and is instead an act of peace.He stressed that what was being suggested for the government to do was using international law."No one is even half suggesting we go to war," he said in a post on Twitter.Vice President Leni Robredo is also urging the Philippines to file a diplomatic protest as she stressed that China's latest actions were a threat to the country's security.Duterte, upon assuming the presidency in 2016, has tried to forge closer ties with China as he courts Chinese money to finance his government's infrastructure projects and to invest in the country's developing economy.He has also set aside a 2016 ruling by an international arbitral tribunal that said China's sweeping nine-dash-line claim over a large part of the South China Sea has no basis in international law. More recently, Duterte has been claiming incorrectly that the ruling was handed down before he became president.China's long-range bombers were reportedly involved in a military exercise and landed on and took off from Woody Island, its largest base in the Paracel Islands, claimed also by Vietnam and Taiwan.Duterte said that he would not afford to go to war with China because the Philippines would only be defeated."I cannot go into a battle which I cannot win and would only result in the destruction and probably a lot of losses for our Armed Forces," the president said. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Malaysia's Najib quizzed over scandal; graft fighter reveals threats May 23, 2018 0 30 'Crazy hope' for missing kin in Philippines' Marawi May 23, 2018 0 25 Death toll goes up to 27 in DR Congo Ebola outbreak May 23, 2018 0 25 Burkina forces kill 3 suspected Islamist militants in early morning raid OUAGADOUGOU Burkina Faso security forces killed three suspected militants and arrested one more on Tuesday morning in an operation in the capital Ouagadougou, its gendarme force said. One gendarme was killed and four .. Arrests as protest greets fourth year of Thai junta rule Bangkok Thai police detained leaders of an anti-junta protest on Tuesday who had tried to mark the fourth anniversary of a coup by marching to Government House. Protest leaders flashed a three finger salute as they were .. China's foreign minister to visit Washington: Beijing Beijing China said its Foreign Minister Wang Yi would visit Washington on Wednesday, as trade tensions ease but new strains arise over North Korea and Beijing's military moves in the South China Sea."China and the US .. Security fears keep kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls at home afp Kano, Nigeria Hundreds of girls have refused to return to their school in northeast Nigeria because of security fears following a mass kidnapping by Boko Haram jihadists, parents and teachers said on Tuesday. .. Indonesia's most active volcano rumbles, public ordered to stay away REUTERS JAKARTA Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi on densely populated Java island, has shown danger signs with a series of small eruptions, and authorities have ordered villagers living on its slopes .. Foreign media head to North Korea to witness nuclear site destruction AFP Beijing Foreign journalists headed to North Korea on Tuesday to witness the promised destruction of its nuclear test site, a move seen as a goodwill gesture before a planned summit with the United States. Dozens of ..