On Tuesday, Philippine Navy (PN) Chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo has stressed that in order to avoid disadvantageous maritime war with China, the Philippines has to settle border disputes in a diplomatic means as possible.
Duterte, in his fifth State of the Nation Address SONA, has firmly stated that he is an “inutile”; slamming down the calls of his critics to assert the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea (WPS), claiming that if they [critics] were to contend for the country’s sovereignty, they must be prepared for a war with China.
“What the President is saying is that with regards to WPS/SCS, we have to explore peaceful options when dealing with China,” Bacordo explained to the Manila Bulletin.
The Navy Chief also added that any means of armed encounters with China in the waters must be firmly avoided.
Duterte has also stressed that China has the advantage in the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China as they have the arms and therefore, “they are in possession of the property.”