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Duterte: Philippines’ arbitral win over China just paper fit to be thrown in trash

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night said the Philippines' arbitral victory in 2016 against China's massive claims in the West Philippine Sea before the United Nations is just paper fit to be thrown in the trash.

"Sa totoong buhay, 'yang papel, wala 'yan... Sa usapang bugoy, sabihin ko sa'yo, ibigay mo sa akin, sabihin ko sa'yo p—ng ina papel lang 'yan. Itatapon ko 'yan sa waste basket," Duterte said his second televised briefing this week.

[In real life, that paper, that's nothing. I'll throw it in the waste basket.]

In 2013, the Philippines challenged China’s legal basis for its expansive claim before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, and won the case in a landmark award in 2016 after the tribunal invalidated Beijing’s assertions.

China rejected the ruling, saying its claims have historical basis and are “indisputable.”

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, Duterte said the Philippines rejects any attempt to undermine the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

"The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it," Duterte told the UN.

"We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for: the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This, as it should [be], is the majesty of the law," he added.

Duterte then slammed former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario anew, saying he will not go to the UN and assert the Philippines' win over China because it's a "waste of time" and would "disrupt the good relations" of the two countries.

"P—tang ina, akala ko ba Pilipino ka? Alam mo ba ang utang na loob? Do you know the dimensions of utang na loob? 'Yong utang na loob, iba 'yong away. Ito—para tayong nandiyan na neighbor nila na naghirap, tinulungan tayo, so sinabi ko salamat. May utang na loob tayo," Duterte said.

[I thought you were Filipino? Do you know what a debt of gratitude is? So you know the dimensions of a debt of gratitude? We're like a neighbor who's suffering, they helped us, so I said thank you. We have a debt of gratitude.]

Duterte also said he talked to President Xi Jinping and told the Chinese leader that one day, "he will go to where his oil is in the West Philippine Sea."

Duterte said Xi replied and told him not to do that "because there might be trouble."

"Sabi niya, whatever your claim is, 'wag mong gawin 'yan. 'Why?' He whispers na, 'Do not do that because there might be trouble," Duterte said.

[He said, whatever your claim is, don't do it. 'Why?' He whispers, 'Do not do that because there might be trouble.'"]

Duterte said Xi's response made him back off, stressing that the UN did not matter anymore.

"So magpunta ka man ng United Nations, magpunta ka man ng America, magpunta ka saan mang impyerno kung gusto mo ng tulong, pagdating mo papel ang dala mo o anong gusto mo? Trouble is away 'yan," Duterte said.

[You can go to the United Nations, you can go to the US, you can go to whatever hell you want for help, you go carrying a piece of paper. Trouble is that'll result in a fight.]

"Ipadala ko mga Navy ko doon, for what? Ipadala ko mga coast guard doon, for them to die? 'Di akong gagong ganoon. Why would I waste Filipino soldiers' lives?" he added.

[I'll send the Navy there, for what? I'll send the Coast Guard there for them to die? I'm not an idiot like that. Why would I waste Filipino soldiers' lives?]

Duterte also said Del Rosario should be investigated, saying he ordered the Philippine Coast Guard to withdraw from the West Philippine Sea.

"Bakit mo pinaatras? Kaninong permission? Ngayon kung wala kang maibigay, p—tang ina mo 'wag mong ibigay sa akin 'yong kasalanan mo," he said. "One day you will be tasked to answer for that."

[Why did you make them retreat? Whose permission? If you have nothing to give, don't put your sins on me.]

The President also slammed retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, challenging him to a debate.

"Itong Carpio naman sulat nang sulat ng desisyon para sa kaniyang utak lang. Isa ring ugok. Pareho naman tayong abogado, gusto mo magdebate tayo?Dalawa, tatlong tanong lang ako," Duterte said. "Sino ang nagpa-retreat at anong ginawa ninyo after sa retreat?"

[This Carpio just keeps writing decisions that are just for his brain. Another idiot. We're both lawyers; do you want us to debate? I only have two, three questions. Who told our forces to retreat and what did you do after they retreated?]

Duterte also said he will resign if his story about the Scarborough Shoal standoff is proven false.

"Maski sinong abogado tanungin ninyo, 'yan ang nangyari. Ngayon kung ako ay nagsisinungaling, mag-resign ako bukas kaagad. 'Yan ang garantiya ko sa inyo," he said.

[Any lawyer you ask will tell you that's what happened. If I'm lying, I'll resign tomorrow immediately. I guarantee that.] — BM, GMA News