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Carpio hopes Duterte’s assertion of arbitral win would be made national policy

/ 11:35 AM September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio on Wednesday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of the 2016 arbitral award that struck down China’s massive South China Sea claims to the United Nations General Assembly.

Carpio, who was one of the key officials behind the Philippines’ legal victory, said he personally commended the “strong stand” made by Duterte at the UN General Assembly.

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“It is heartening that President Duterte has welcomed ‘the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award,’” he said in a statement hours after Duterte’s speech.

Carpio said he hoped that “this is the policy that the Duterte administration will implement across all levels – in the protection of our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippines Sea, in the negotiations for the Code of Conduct, and in gathering the support of the international community for the enforcement of the arbitral award.”

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Carpio, together with former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has earlier called on the President to bring up the arbitral ruling at the UN General Assembly.

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, ruling in a maritime case filed by the Philippines, invalidated China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea. But Duterte has downplayed the victory in favor of economic investments from China.

Beijing has also rejected the tribunal’s decision.

But in his speech before world leaders at the UN, Duterte said: “The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish, or abandon.”

“We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” he said.

Duterte also acknowledged the “increasing number of states” that have shown support for the award. France, Germany, and UK have recently issued a joint verbale to the UN rejecting China’s sweeping claims in the disputed waters.

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TAGS: Antonio Carpio, arbitration award, President Rodrigo Duterte, South China Sea, UN GA, United Nations General Assembly, West Philippine Sea
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