Duterte: Sending troops on 'suicide' mission in S. China Sea will lead to my ouster

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President Rodrigo Duterte says the Philippines is making a diplomatic protest against Chinese activity in the South China Sea 'every time we open our mouth'. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — President Rodrigo Duterte believes the military and police will oust him should he decide to send them to fight China in contested areas of the South China Sea.

"If all of my soldiers will die there and all of the policemen to assist them, nadisgrasya ang Pilipinas, sino ang managot [the Philippines will be in danger, who is responsible]? I," Duterte said early Wednesday upon his arrival from a three-day official visit to South Korea .

"The people will execute me right at the Luneta and you are either inviting… If I do that, either I am inviting trouble within my country or the military and police will oust me," he added.

Duterte's remark comes amid criticisms of his soft stance on the territorial dispute due to his administration's warmer ties with the Eastern giant.

However, the President repeated he actively protested against China for its continuing reclamation and alleged militarization of the South China Sea.

"Diplomatic protest every time we open our mouth, we are protesting actually.  And if you might want to know, the first time I met President Xi, I already protested and insisted that we will dig our own oil there," he said.

Duterte first met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Beijing in October 2016. He claimed Xi said the two countries might head for "some kind of trouble" if the Philippines brought up the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea dispute.

"We cannot afford a war at this time because it will result in a massacre," Duterte said. "I am not prepared to lose my soldiers and policeman for a simple adventurism."

On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it has engaged in 85 diplomatic actions on the South China Sea — but it was unclear if the actions were directed to China, and which incidents prompted the diplomatic actions.

Pictures and videos which came out last month of missle systems installed in Chinese outposts in the disputed territoriy and videos of Chinese bomber planes taking off and landing there have further raised tensions in the region.

Malacañang said the missile systems were not directed at the Philippines, but that officials are in serious talks with China over their recent activity.

But Rep. Gary Alejano, a former Marine officer, pointed out some of China's missile were located a mere 13 nautical miles away from the Pag-asa Island, the largest Philippine- controlled island in the Spratlys. He also said the missles are capable of targetting vessels located as far away as the waters of Balabac, Palawan.