Duterte Will Deploy Warships If China Drills For Oil Illegally
PHILIPPINES - Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte said that if China drills for oil in the disputed waters, he will send out warships to "stake a claim" in the West Philippine Sea, and that the only way the Philippine government could retake control of the area was by force.
Duterte stated "I am addressing myself to the Chinese government. We want to remain friends. We want to share whatever it is. I already told you, the Chinese government: I’m not so much interested now in fishing. I don’t think there’s enough fish really to quarrel about. But when we start to mine, when we start to get whatever it is in the bowels of the China Sea, by that time, I will send my ships there. I will send my grey ships there to stake a claim. If you take the oil, whatever is in there, precious stones, that would be the time — because that is the time we should act on it"
The Philippine president said that taking resources or oil from the West Philippine Sea was not a part of his agreement with China and stated "If they start drilling for oil there, I will really tell China: Is that part of our agreement? Because if it’s not part of our agreement, I’m going also to drill my oil there. If you own it, I own it".
Earlier in April Chinese scientists on a research vessel were using a homemade "Sea Bull II" drill to retrieve sediment core from the ocean floor in the disputed waters to explore natural gas hydrate as a possible source of energy.