President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday night warned of the worst possible outcome for the entire world amid Russia’s continued threat to potentially use tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
In a speech in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu during the 501st anniversary of the Victory of Mactan, Duterte expressed disapproval over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats and raised fears that it could mean the end of the world.
“Putin’s threat is not good. If he really presses the button there and it goes nuclear and they use nuclear armaments, I think that my brother Lapulapu is waiting for all of us there in heaven because the world will melt,” he said in Cebuano.
Duterte did not elaborate further but noted the importance of taking a stand during events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Our history is evolving, the history of our world. How we react, how we define ourselves, how we would stand in this conflict if it really goes nuclear,” he added.
Duterte earlier said the Philippines will maintain its “neutral” stance on ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.
On March 4, Duterte made a similar statement but added that the country may have to eventually “choose sides.”
He said he is keeping his fingers crossed that the situation will not “go out of control.”
In a speech in Butuan City on April 12, Duterte said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deserves “condemnation.”
Although he described Putin as his “friend”, Duterte said Russia’s attacks on Ukraine were “so brutal.”
He also reiterated that he was different from Putin because he only allowed the killing of “criminals” while the latter authorized bombings of the children and elderly.
Malacañang earlier said the Philippines is joining the rest of the world in praying for an “early and peaceful” resolution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, especially since the world is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24, has killed and injured thousands and forced more than five million people to flee abroad.
Ukraine and the West have described this as an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.