Duterte wants a tell-all after he alleged that Cuisia, who was then Philippine ambassador to the US, and then Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario ordered the country’s warship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, to leave Panatag without getting the permission of then President Noynoy Aquino.
“Ang tanong ko ganito, bakit hindi nyo sinabi na the withdrawal must be mutually acceptable in the sense that how many kilometers would I surrender that would be the same rule for you? Na hindi nila tinawag lahat ‘dahan-dahan lang, diyan na muna kayo’. Eh sinabi ni Albert, ‘Uwi kayo’,” said Duterte in a briefing.
“”Bakit pinaatras ninyo? Anong napasok sa bakukang ulo nyo? na sinabi mo na, ‘Tinawagan ako. O sige, alis ka, alis ako na ‘. Bakit pumayag sila? Pag-atras, wala na silang ginawa. They just, no hey, no hi, tumalikod na lang at pinauwi. Bakit ganoon? Bright man kaya kayo,” he added.
If he was in control then, Duterte said he would have insisted that the Philippines withdraw one kilometer at a time from Panatag and only if Chinese ships retreated the same distance.
“Ikaw Albert, ano ka ba, Pilipino? Mukhang hindi ka Pilipino eh. Español ka siguro. P**… Bakit ganoon? Bakit ka pumayag kaagad na diretso? Hindi naman sa sigurista ka. Maski anong sabihin mo, mag-atras ako pero atras ka rin,” said Duterte.
Cuisia told DZBB radio that he relayed the withdrawal order to Del Rosario after he was assured by then US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell that the Chinese ambassador had already agreed to a simultaneous withdrawal.
The Philippines left and the Chinese ships stayed and expanded their presence over the last nine years. Cuisia insisted that Duterte should be blaming China and not them for losing a piece of the country’s territory.
But Duterte was adamant that it was Cuisia and Del Rosario’s blunder which led to the Panatag Shoal fiasco.
“Ito ang pinakasikreto sa lahat. Sabihin ko na lang sa inyo ngayon, napipilitan ako eh. Nagkamali sila doon. Albert was the one who received the message from Cuisia from the State Department kasi in-admitan na ni Cuisia ngayon eh. Ngayon lang ito lumabas,” said Duterte.
“My God! Tinago nila ‘yan na iyon pala, galing doon kay Ambassador Cuisia, ipinasa sa ating gobyerno, ipinasa ni PNoy doon kay Albert. Tapos Albert was the one who ordered the ships of the — or the ship of the Philippine government to withdraw,” he added.
Duterte said the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute all boiled down to the faux pas of Cuisia and Del Rosario which led to the loss of the Panatag Shoal to Chinese control.
“Ako hindi ako lalabas. I will not go into the nitty-gritty of itong mga Treaty of Paris. Dito lang ako. Nandoon tayo, pinauwi tayo.
Binuksan natin the floodgates for China to enter and to renege on its commitment to everybody and opted to stay there and claim the West Philippine Sea as their property,” said Duterte.