Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened jail for any critic who files an impeachment complaint against him for failing to stop Chinese incursions.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to jail critics who file an impeachment complaint against him for allegedly failing to protect the country's territories in the South China Sea from Chinese incursions.
"Impeach me? I'll jail all of them," Duterte told reporters on Thursday evening.
"Let them try. Try to do it and I will do it."
The 74-year-old leader also reiterated that he will not send Filipino soldiers to war with China over the disputed South China Sea, stressing that the Philippine military was not prepared for an armed confrontation.
"So I tell our soldiers, I will send you there. How about their families? Son of a bitch. Then they will be decimated," he said.
Lawmakers and legal experts have warned there was enough basis to file an impeachment complaint against Duterte, who has been under pressure to take a tougher stance against China since the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel on June 9.
The Chinese vessel had left without helping the 22 Filipino crew members and fishermen, who were later rescued by a Vietnamese ship.
Duterte has described the June 9 incident near Reed Bank, which was within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, as a "little maritime accident" and agreed to a joint investigation with China and a third party to resolve the issue.
He also said the Philippines could not stop the Chinese from fishing in waters within the country's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea because Beijing claims the disputed area.