“It’s not a one-hectare island that you can really overrun. There are many places to hide,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday when asked how the government will treat terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in the wake of German national’s beheadung. “And for the first time, we are even using air assets, which we did not – We were hesitant to use because, you know, sometimes, about the problem of collateral damage.”
He then said that he asked China, through its Ambassador, to conduct patrols in Sulu Sea.
“I don’t know if it is diplomatic or not. But in one of my talks with the Ambassador, I have requested China, through the Ambassador, to do some patrolling there sa strait,” he said. “It’s known dito, nearer the Philippines, it’s known as the Cebu, the Sulu Sea. But not of the vastness of Sulu Sea is really a part of the territorial waters of the Philippines.”
“You always count from the coast, ‘yung seashore diyan, up to 12 miles. That is the territorial, territorial. But beyond that, that’s… Well, if there is any entitlements there, iyo ‘yan. But you do not own it actually,” he added.
“So international sea, sabi ko sa China, if they can contribute sa patrolling. Kasi ang might ng China in terms of sea power, it’s a huge one and if they can patrol the international seas – because if the piracy continues, that thing there below Mindanao is a vital sea lane going to the Pacific,” he said.
However, the President said he has “not heard of any response. And there are so many requests that I have made na — which China has still to entertain.”
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