President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping pose for posterity prior to the start of the bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 25, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to have a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 8.

In an anti-insurgency task force meeting, Duterte said he was afraid the heightening tensions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could spill over to the Philippines.

“[M]ag-usap kami ni Xi Jinping kasi siguro ‘yung sabi ko na…the Philippines might really be included in the vortex of giyera dito,” Duterte said.

Duterte has maintained that the Philippines should remain neutral for the time being.

Duterte said he hoped things would not get out of control and reach the point where nuclear weapons would be used.

“‘Pag magnuclear victim, tinamaan ang Russia ng nuclear or si […] Russia ang
mag-una magtira, then there’s gonna be a serious trouble and China will not
just sit idly there,” Duterte said.

“Babanat rin siya, kukunin niya ‘yang Taiwan. Ang problema ang Pilipinas tatamaan rin tayo if there’s a full-scale war kasi mayroong mga Amerikano dito,” he added.

The Philippines has called for “an immediate end” to the Russia-Ukraine war, saying war was of no benefit to anyone. John Ezekiel J. Hirro