Carpio: Only less than 5% of China’s promised loans, investments to PH happened
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has set aside its 2016 arbitral victory against China over the South China Sea for nothing, as only less than five percent of China’s promised $24 billion in loans and investments have materialized, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday.
“The loans and investments that China promised, $24 billion, only less than five percent have materialized. Even if the 24 billion dollars materialize, that’s a pittance compared to the value of the fish, oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the West Philippines Sea,” Carpio told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Carpio also noted that Chinese tourists will not be coming over yet to the Philippines because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that even some Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) are closing down as China cancels the passport of POGO workers.
“So there will be no longer loans and investments as promised, no tourists, no POGOs. What can we get out of this? Nothing. We have set aside the ruling for nothing actually, and that is the way China is trying to win, by promising something but not delivering,” the retired SC justice added.
He likewise pointed out that it is the “battle of the century” for Filipinos to protect the West Philippine Sea given its huge area and its rich resources, and that other countries are just waiting for the Philippines to move following The Hague ruling that struck down China’s massive nine-dash line claims in the South China Sea.
He added that Filipinos should be informed that the Philippines is “going to lose a maritime space larger than our total land area” should it allow China to push for its claims in the contested waters.
“We are going to lose a maritime space larger than our total land area. What Philippine leader can explain that to future generations of the Philippines? They have to stand pat on this because we’ve already won the ruling,” said Carpio.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week affirmed before the United Nations General Assembly the Philippines’ arbitral victory against China over the disputed waters, saying “the award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”
But since Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016, he opted to put aside the historic Permanent Court of Arbitration decision and establish a cozy relationship with China in exchange for loans and projects for his ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program.
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