By Deighton Acuin


“Maski na ilang balik natin dun wala mangyayari because we are not in the possession of the sea... Even if you go there and claim it, walang mangyayari, kanila talaga eh, sa isip nila kanila.”

President Rodrigo Duterte had this to say on Monday night after breaking his silence over the recent territorial tension between the Philippines and China.

It would be “bloody” if the Philippines will make its claiming possession on the disputed area, according to Duterte.

"The issue of West Philippine Sea remains a question forever until such time that we can take it back.  Ang akin dyan is, walang iba, gera lang," he said during his weekly Talk to the People program.

“We can retake it only by force, there is no way that we can get it back ‘yan tawag na Philippine Sea without any bloodshed … You now the cost of war, and if we go there to find out and assert jurisdiction, it would be bloody.  It would result in violence that we cannot maybe win,” he added.

The tension rose anew over the presence of hundreds of Chinese vessels along Julian Felipe Reef, prompting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file diplomatic protests against China.

The National Task Force on West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) earlier reported the presence of six Chinese warships and 240 militia vessels over Kalayaan, Palawan and in the country’s EEZ.

The task force has also estimated that a total of 240,000 kilograms of fish will be illegally taken over the continued presence of the vessels.

Moreover, the DFA also called on Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to discuss the growing concerns of spotted vessels along Julian Felipe Reef.