Duterte blames Aquino, US for failing to stop China reclamation in West Philippine Sea
President Rodrigo Duterte blames his predecessor and the United States for failing to stop China’s reclamation activities in West Philippine Sea amid reported deployment of missiles on Chinese occupied features in disputed waters.
“I’ll talk about America. You were already around. I’m sure seven or eight years ago. There were intelligence reports, overflights by so many countries, including ours, that something was afoot there that they were trying to build the reclamation,” Duterte said his speech during the 37th Philippine Principals Training and Development Program and National Board Conference in Davao City Friday evening.
“At that time, because it’s a violation of the International Law of the Seas, UNCLOS, the only country who could have stopped the Chinese although [unclear] is in China --- was America,” he added.
“You cannot build an island, artificial island on the high seas. That’s not allowed. And the only country who could have stopped them was America,” Duterte noted.
Duterte said former President Benigno Aquino III failed to do anything to stop China from building their structures in West Philippine Sea.
“Aquino filed an arbitration case. We won. He was still there. Why he did’not do (any) if it is really they really want. You won and Aquino was still there not so many months there, why you didn’t go there and call there attention,” he said.
Just recently, news reports said China placed anti-ship and surface to air missiles in three of its claimed features in Spratlys. Robina Asido/DMS