Filipinos deserve a president who will defend West Philippine Sea — Carpio

Filipinos deserve a president who will defend West Philippine Sea — Carpio
This combination photo shows President Rodrigo Duterte and retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Presidential Photo / King Rodriguez | The STAR / Michael Varcas, File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos should demand for a leader who will defend the West Philippine Sea, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Thursday.

Carpio was responding to President Rodrigo Duterte who asked him and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario why the Philippines "lost" the West Philippine Sea.

"Filipinos deserve, and should demand, a President who loves Filipinos first and foremost and who will uncompromisingly defend Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea," Carpio said in a statement.

The retired magistrate also stressed that he was the one who recommended to the Aquino administration to file a South China Sea arbitration case following the 2012 Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal standoff.

Pointing out that the Philippines won a landmark victory with the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated China's nine-dash line claim, Carpio noted that Duterte announced that he was "setting aside" the ruling in favor of seeking loans from Beijing.

"Today, less than 5 percent of those loans and investments have materialized even as President Duterte is already leaving office next year," Carpio said.

Carpio also stressed that Duterte allowed China to fish in the country's exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.

"We even import galunggong now from China, the same galunggong that Chinese fishermen take in the West Philippine Sea," he added.

The retired justice also narrated how the Duterte administration remained silent when the Chinese seized Sandy Cay, a sand bar located two nautical miles from Pag-asa Island in Palawan.

'Why did we lose West Philippine Sea?'

In a recorded speech aired Wednesday night, Duterte blamed Carpio and Del Rosario for the current situation in the West Philippine Sea.

"Alam mo, isang tanong lang ako kay (Antonio) Carpio pati kay Albert (Del Rosario). Kung bright kayo, bakit nawala ang West Philippine Sea sa atin? Panahon ninyo ‘yon eh," Duterte said.

(You know, I only have one question for Antonio Carpio and Albert del Rosario. If you are bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea? It happened during your term.)

The president also mentioned the 2016 arbitral ruling, which he described as a "binding order."

China, however, continues to reject the ruling and insists on indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

"Ang ating — for China tapos na ‘yon na may desisyon na, ayaw nilang sumunod. Tayo naman, we have the decision but we are at a loss of how to get it — get back physically the West Philippine Sea. Iyan ang problema," the chief executive said.

(For China the decision is final, they do not want to follow. For us, we have the decision but we are at a loss of how to physically get back the West Philippine Sea. That's the problem.)

Duterte, once again, insisted that invoking the arbitral award constitutes going to war with China, an argument that has been debunked by Carpio, Del Rosario and several other experts on maritime law.

"Kaya I have a choice of going to war, mamamatay tayong lahat kasi wala talaga tayong armas na — or I will just send my soldiers to hell which I will never do," Duterte said.

(That's why I have a choice of going to war, we will all die because we do not have weapons.)

— Patricia Lourdes Viray





As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

Around 68 foreign vessels were near Julian Felipe Reef and 39 near Union Banks on February 17, satellite image show.

Liz Derr, CEO of the geospatial data provider Simularity, says this at a Stratebase ADR-hosted conference.

In March 2021, over 200 Chinese vessels were sighted near the reef.  — report from News5/Marianne Enriquez

November 22, 2021 - 3:54pm

President Rodrigo Duterte condemns the latest flare-up in the disputed South China Sea after Chinese coastguard ships fired water cannon at Filipino boats. 

"We abhor the recent event in the Ayungin Shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments," Duterte tells the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, using the Filipino name for the shoal. 

"This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership." — AFP

November 22, 2021 - 8:41am

The European Union expresses "strong opposition" against China's unilateral actions in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

This statement comes after Chinese coast guard ships blocked and water cannoned Philippine boats transporting supplies to military personnel stationed at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

"In this context, the European Union recalls the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016, which found that Second Thomas Shoal lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," the EU says in a statement.

July 14, 2021 - 8:49am

Geospatial imagery and analysis firm Simularity stands behind its report on ships dumping raw sewage in the West Philippine Sea, adding a stock photo used in its presentation was not used in its analysis.

"We welcome the news that Philippine agencies are validating our research and results. It is all reproducible, based on publicly available sources, well understood algorithms, and the approach and interpretation are validated by readily available scientific papers, links to which you can find in our report," it says.

July 13, 2021 - 2:44pm

The Department of Environemnt and Natural Resources says it will coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of National Defense "on the authenticity of the allegation" that Chinese ships have been dumping raw waste in areas of the West Philippine Sea, which satellite imaging firm Simularity said has been causing damage to coral reefs in the Spratlys.

"After that, we will be seeking for the attention of the Chinese government through our Department of Foreign Affairs," Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, DENR spokesperson, says.

"We will also validate if indeed these are Chinese vessels," he also says.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with