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Palace blasts Carpio, other critics on West Philippine Sea
This March 22, 2021 aerial photo shows Chinese vessels still present in the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea, well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
Armed Forces of the Philippines

Palace blasts Carpio, other critics on West Philippine Sea

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea criticized yesterday former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former senior associate justice Antonio Carpio Jr. for putting the blame for China’s aggressive stance in the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on President Duterte.

“For the stupid actions they’ve done during their regime they want PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) to solve the problems they have created in the WPS. And still, they have the temerity and nerve to lecture PRRD that it is his avowed duty to defend the Philippines’ sovereign rights at all costs,” he said.

Medialdea, concurrent chairman of the National Coast Watch Council (NCWC), noted how the officials of the previous administration have orchestrated the filing of the arbitral ruling upon the advise of the United States.

The NCWC sits in the National Task Force on West Philippine Sea (WPS).

A few days after Duterte publicly questioned the motives of Carpio and del Rosario, the Executive Secretary also echoed the President’s stance that the “broker” of the filing of the case has not even helped the country in the enforcement of the arbitral ruling.

Medialdea stopped short of saying the US has placed the Philippines in an awkward situation as regards dealing with China following the arbitral ruling.

“Del Rosario has admitted that the filing of the case was a brokered deal by the US. Del Rosario and Carpio were aware of the fact that it was impractical to enforce the decision but were assured by the broker of a ‘strong global voice’ which will shake the world when a favorable ruling comes out,” he claimed. “Where was the strong global voice when the ruling came out in July 2016, barely a month after PRRD assumed office?”

He added that “it was only del Rosario and Carpio who were savoring the victory.”  ?“To cover their dastardly acts, Carpio and del Rosario have not stopped criticizing PRRD on his post-decision actions on the issue. What a way to hide!” Medialdea said in a post on his FB account, which was seen by his contacts in the social media platform.

The Palace official’s statement also came in the wake of the President’s public rants against Carpio and del Rosario over the issue.

Last Friday, Carpio called out Duterte for “setting aside” the arbitral ruling almost five years since it was handed down by an arbitral tribunal in The Hague.

Cowards

Sen. Bong Go also lambasted Carpio and del Rosario for their “arrogance, claiming to be brave,” in saying the West Philippine Sea must be reclaimed from China.

“You are all cowards anyway,” he said in Filipino as he insisted that Duterte has been fighting for the West Philippine Sea.

He added that the Aquino administration, while busy with the case at the arbitral tribunal, left China to continue building up structures in the questioned area.

“Now, these (structures) could not just be easily removed anymore because you let them there in your time,” Go said as he challenged Carpio and del Rosario to, “if you are truly brave,” go fight with China and do every possible move they could against the country.

“No one else deserved the blame but Carpio and del Rosario. It was their fault when they allowed it. And now they appear to be courageous in fighting China, but it’s all talks. What will your talks do? You are cowards,” Go added.

Speaking during a chance interview after the distribution of aid to flood victims in Palo town in Leyte, Go claimed that the Duterte administration has been contesting and will continue to push for Philippine sovereignty over the disputed waters.

He cited Duterte’s earlier declaration not to withdraw the Navy and Coast Guard patrols in the West Philippine Sea, insisting that the country’s sovereignty over the waters is non-negotiable.

“I know the President personally for a long time, and I know that he is always after the interest of Filipinos,” he insisted.

While saying that Duterte wants to maintain friendly ties with China, the President will also “fight for us and for what is ours, the one that we won over China at the arbitration court.”  – Miriam Desacada

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