The STAR learned yesterday that Carpio decided to recuse himself from the petition filed by party-list lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc because of his previous pronouncements on the issue.
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Antonio Carpio inhibits from Chico River case
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has inhibited from the deliberations on a petition to nullify the government’s $62-million loan agreement with China for the Chico River irrigation pump project in the Cordilleras.

The STAR learned yesterday that Carpio decided to recuse himself from the petition filed by party-list lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc because of his previous pronouncements on the issue.

Carpio had earlier said the loan agreement could cost the country’s natural gas depo-sits in Recto Bank, also known as the Reed Bank, if the loan is not paid.

He cited Article 8, Paragraph 8.1 of the agreement, which states that the Philippines “irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereignty or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding…or with the enforcement of any arbitral award.”

Carpio explained that the term “patrimonial assets and assets dedicated to commercial use,” includes oil and gas in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, in the West Philippine Sea and gas fields in Reed Bank.

He said the Philippines would also be in a disadvantageous position in case of dispute because arbitration would be held in Beijing and conducted by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission based on its own rules.  

Carpio assailed the confidentiality clause in the loan agreement, saying it goes against the public’s right to information as well as access to documents on matters of public concern under the 1987 Constitution.

ANTONIO CARPIO CHICO RIVER
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