Carpio not biting Duterte’s call for US to attack China, saying it’s a joke
MANILA, Philippines–President Rodrigo Duterte has invoked the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) for the United States to attack China but Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is not biting it, believing it is just another joke.
“I think the President is just joking, just like his ‘jetski’ joke,” Carpio said in a statement referring to Duterte’s pronouncement during the Presidential campaign that he will ride a jetski to Spratly Island and plant the Philippine flag.
However, after winning the Presidential election in 2016, he grounded the jetski to a more friendly approach with China. He said fighting China would mean death sentence to the soldiers.
“The President knows that the Philippines can invoke the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty only if there is an armed attack on Philippine territory or Philippine military ships or aircraft. This has not happened,” Carpio said.
He explained that the MDT operates only for self-defense, “not for aggression against another State.”
“A war of aggression is prohibited by the Philippine Constitution and the United Nations Charter. A war of aggression makes leaders of the aggressor State liable for an international crime subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” Carpio said. /jpv
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