CALAUAN, Laguna - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said Chinese ships encroaching in the West Philippine Sea would be “turned into decoration under the sea” should he win the 2022 presidential race.
Domagoso gave the statement a day after the Department of Foreign Affairs said Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked Philippine supply boats in the Ayungin Shoal.
"Pagnakalawit ko sila, gagawin kong dekolores o dekorasyon yung mga barko nila sa ilalim ng dagat," Domagoso told reporters on the sidelines of his slate's "listening tour" here.
(If I catch them, I will make their ships decoration under the sea.)
"Parang aggressive tayo? We must because it is ours... Hindi ako makikipag gera pero hindi ako magpapa-bully," he said.
(Do we seem aggressive? We must because it is ours... I will not wage war but I will not allow them to bully us.)
He did not go into further details how he plans to stop Chinese vessels in the area.
Under a Domagoso administration, the Philippines "will continue to insist with the Hague ruling," the presidential aspirant said.
"We will continue to insist and be fearless with the Hague ruling," Domagoso said.
"In a civilized world, in a civilized time we must be guided by law and order and that includes our international partners and organizations," he said.
In 2016, an arbitral tribunal invalidated China's sweeping claims in the West Philippine Sea, and awarded the victory to the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte did not enforce the ruling, saying in several speeches that the Philippine military was no match for China, the world's second largest economy and a military superpower in Asia.
"Bigyan mo akong tiyansa maging presidente kung hindi mo makita si Widodo," the Manila mayor said, referring to Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who drew praise from the international community for resisting against Chinese maritime aggression in the area.
(Give me a chance to be president and you will see a Joko Widodo.)
Domagoso will be competing against Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., labor leader Leody De Guzman, and former Palace Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, among others for the presidency next year.