Duterte breaks silence on sinking of PH boat: ‘It’s a little maritime accident’

President Duterte

SANGLEY POINT, Cavite — President Rodrigo Duterte gave his remarks on the sinking of a Filipino boat by a Chinese vessel at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea and termed it a “little maritime accident.”

Duterte stated in his speech at the 121st Philippine Navy Anniversary here that politicians are just making the situation worse.

“What happened there is a collision. That is a maritime incident.  Don’t believe stupid politicians. They want the Navy to go there. You do not send gray ships there. It’s just a collision, do not make it worse,” he said.

The President even remarked that the country is not ready for a nuclear war.

“You know how is it with soldiers, a miscommunication could lead to death.  And we are not yet as ready, and we can never be ready in a nuclear war. Because in a nuclear war, earth will dry up and we will all be destroyed, and that is the end of everything,” he noted.

Duterte noted the public should wait and listen to China’s side.

“Maritime incident is a maritime incident. It is best investigated. And I do not now issue statement because there is no investigation and there is no result. Then the only thing we can do is to wait and give the other party the right to be heard,” he added.

The chief executive stated that he wants to hear China’s side of the argument.

“Oh, China, you gave us plenty, but what is the truth here? What happened? Then let us sort. What is the truth?” he said.

“There were only two boats involved. Now you go there and create a tension. As President, I cannot allow that. If we have to die, we must have to die in the correct way and to die with dignity. You can’t just bump into gusto,” he added.

Duterte told the Navy and the troops to “stay out of trouble.”

“Just build on our own. Let’s not meddle. Do not allow a little maritime accident…,” he added.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that a Chinese vessel rammed a Filipino boat at Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea and abandoned the sinking ship with 22 fishermen.

“If you ask me, I prefer action. But I am not in my boyhood age anymore. I have a duty that is a burden, sometimes more than I can carry,” Duterte concluded.

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