PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, January 24, sought the assistance of China in combating terrorism and piracy in the Southeast Asian waters to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Duterte, in a speech delivered before he left the country for his visit to India, said he believed that China could be of big help in dealing with terrorists and pirates who prowl the vast waters in Southeast Asia.
"Our waters are getting to be dangerous. And yet, it is only Indonesia who's active there," the President said during his speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
"I'm telling you, if we cannot do it, we'll just have to call China to come in and blow them off just like Somalia, that Aden Strait there. Were it not for the presence of the Chinese, piracy won't be stopped there," he added.
Duterte's foreign policy has leaned towards China and away from long-time ally United States.
Duterte stressed that a "hardline policy" would help secure the region's key waterways.
The President said criminals would not refrain from doing lawless activities, unless "extreme measures" are implemented.
"So we have to come up with a platform of how to deal with terrorism. Me, I go for a hardline policy. Blow them up in the high seas. Destroy them. Blast a cannon. Otherwise, if we do not do the extreme measures, we'd always be at the mercy of criminal," he said.
"Now, if they don't want to, then, we'll do it. And my order to the armed forces would be really to destroy. Now, well, destroy means you have to destroy physically. And if you have to kill, you kill. That's the only way to destroy an enemy. It cannot be empty words," Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)