Carpio: Filipinos must demand that Duterte retract his statements on WPS | Global News
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Carpio: Filipinos must demand that Duterte retract his statements on WPS

/ 10:17 AM May 10, 2021
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced on Sunday (April 25) that it has been conducting drills in the West Philippine Sea since last week as part of efforts to secure "our maritime jurisdiction.” PCG

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced on Sunday (April 25) that it has been conducting drills in the West Philippine Sea since last week as part of efforts to secure the country’s maritime jurisdiction. (PCG)

MANILA, Philippines — The Filipino people—through manifestos or resolutions—should demand that President Rodrigo Duterte retract his controversial statements regarding the maritime dispute on the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday.

“The Filipino people must demand that President Duterte retract all the statements. He must retract. All of us must come up with manifestos, position papers—all organizations, all schools must come up with resolutions,” Carpio said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

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Carpio said Duterte should retract his statements hinting that China is in possession of the West Philippine Sea and that The Hague ruling over the maritime dispute that favored the Philippines is a mere scrap of paper. 

Some of the about 220 vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard are pictured at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea

Some of the about 220 Chinese vessels reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, and believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, are pictured at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea, March 7, 2021. Picture taken March 7, 2021. (Philippine Coast Guard/National Task Force-West Philippine Sea/Handout via REUTERS)

“The President must retract the following statements—that China is in possession, because physically China is in possession, legally China is not in possession. And if he says that, what happens to our fishermen, what happens to the service conductors? They will not get the gas,” Carpio said.

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“Second, he must retract his statement that the arbitral award is just a piece of paper that deserves to be thrown into the wastebasket because he’s siding with China, he’s saying that I agree with China, and China can use against us in the future. We will be bound by that,” he added.

Carpio said that while Filipinos can bring the issue to the Supreme Court, it would be better for Duterte to just withdraw his earlier statements.

“I think better for him to just withdraw. I think if he sees all the people—I’ve noticed that the business organizations have been coming out with statements in support of the arbitral ruling. Everybody must come out,” Carpio said.

“In fact when the military conducts planned ceremony, every Monday, they should shout out loud, ‘The West Philippine Sea belongs to us, it is not in possession of China’,” he added.

In the same interview, Carpio said Duterte’s actions regarding the issue of West Philippine Sea is a “betrayal of public trust” and a “betrayal of national interest”—which are impeachable offenses.

Duterte and Carpio have been engaged in a word war over the issue of the West Philippine Sea.

carpio duterte

This combination file photos show retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and President Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER and PRESIDENTIAL FILE PHOTOS

Duterte even challenged Carpio to a debate.

When Carpio accepted the challenge, however, Duterte instead tapped presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to represent him.

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