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Philippine President Duterte: ‘War Is Not an Option;’ Deploys Former President Ramos to China for Talks

July 14, 2016 (EIRNS)—Speaking at a testimonial dinner in his honor in Manila today, the newly inaugurated President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, forcefully addressed for the first time the Hague Arbitration Court ruling against China.

"War is not an option," he said clearly.

"So what’s the other side? Peaceful talks. I cannot give you the wherewithal now. I want to consult many people, including President Ramos. I would like to respectfully ask him to go to China and start the talks."

Former President (and General) Fidel Ramos, who was in the audience, said he had to consider his age (88) and would discuss it with Duterte.

Although Ramos is infamous as the primary hitman for George Shultz in the Washington-orchestrated coup against the last nationalist president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, in 1986, he is also a so-called "realist" who has opposed the anti-China hysteria in the Philippines. He has said that the Philippines was destroying itself economically, since China was the only source of real development support. Ramos was one of the founders of the Boao Forum for Asia (called "Davos East") held in China every year.

Duterte also addressed the economic implications of the decision of the Hague Court, which, although portrayed as pro-Philippines, is actually very damaging to Duterte’s effort to re-establish ties with China and integrate his nation into China’s win-win Maritime Silk Road development plans, including joint development in the South China Sea.

Duterte warned that the ruling could disrupt trade with China, "even the insurance of cargoes and boats and ships there. It will create another problem for our economy."

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