Carpio on China: If you don’t protest, you give up your rights
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said not filing a diplomatic protest against China’s alleged aggression in the West Philippine Sea would be tantamount to giving up the country’s rights over the disputed waters.
The magistrate was reacting to a statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin that protesting Beijing’s aggression was “basically throwing pieces of paper at a brick wall.”
Carpio, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration’s handling of the West Philippine Sea dispute, stressed the importance of filing note verbales against China’s expansive claim, citing how diplomatic protests aided the country’s victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2016.
“We won in the Hague because we filed several, numerous protests, note verbales protesting China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea. Had we not made those protests, we could have lost,” Carpio told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Monday.
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He was referring to the landmark 2016 decision by the PCA that held that China had “no legal basis” to “claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’”.
Carpio was part of the legal team that argued the Philippines’ case before the Hague-based PCA.
The magistrate also explained how the Tribunal favored the Philippines after it protested China’s nine-dash line map during the past administration.
“China submitted their nine-dash line map to the UN (United Nations) in 2009, and China said you did not object. But the UN said, the Tribunal said Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei the Philippines protested within a reasonable period… and because of that China cannot claim that the Philippines acquiesce,” he said.
“That was the basic decision, the very first preliminary decision of the Tribunal whether we acquiesce to the nine-dash line because that was the position of China but the Tribunal said the Philippines did not acquiesce and we protested through a note verbal timely,” he added.
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Carpio stressed that “we won because we protested” on numerous occasions when China imposed its will in the West Philippine Sea.
“We show (the Tribunal) that we never accepted China’s claim because we kept on protesting and we won because we protested. If you don’t protest, you give up your rights and we don’t wanna do that,” he said. /cbb
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