March 18, 2022
MANILA — The Philippines should maintain its neutrality amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated Thursday.
“Other countries, Europe will die if Russia wreaks havoc. So we better — we better maintain our neutrality. Let’s avoid meddling in it so that we won’t get involved,” Duterte said in Visayan language during the inauguration of the New Leyte Provincial Government Complex and lot title distribution to former rebels.
The President added that he would not allow Filipino soldiers to fight, should the Americans engage in war.
“I won’t commit. If the Americans engage in a war and they’re here, why will I send my soldiers? It’s not our battle to fight,” he explained.
“If the violence spills over and the war somehow gets here, that will be very difficult. I won’t, I really won’t. For as long as I’m President, I won’t send a single soldier of mine to go to war,” continued Duterte.
Early this month, the chief executive raised that the country should remain neutral amid the conflict between the two foreign nations, expressing concern if the situation escalates to a nuclear war.
In February, Russia launched an invasion on Ukraine, amassing 150,000 to 200,000 troops along the latter’s borders.
The Palace then assured that Duterte’s main concern is the safety of Filipinos in Ukraine.