President Rodrigo Duterte, during the press conference after delivering his State of the Nation Address speech, said China and Philippines are already in talks for joint exploration in West Philippine Sea.
“We are there already, may partner na. ‘Di ko lang masabi kung sino. Nandoon na ang atin (representative) pati kanila. They are talking,” Duterte said. “Eh gusto mong solohin, hindi mo naman kaya.”
When asked when will he bring up the arbitration ruling, Duterte said when China unilaterally drills oil and natural gas.
“When they start to excavate the gas and all. I tell you, it’s going to be just like a joint venture. Para pareho,” he said.
The President also reiterated the country cannot engage into war.
I’m not prepared to go to war. I have to be frank. The truth is, I will not. It will end up a slaughter to my forces. Kulang tayo. They have the state-of-the-art and everything,” he said.