MANILA - Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Friday said Filipinos need a leader who can address the country’s territorial issues with China.
The statement came months after President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not raise the territorial disputes with China again, particularly Manila's legal victory against Beijing before a UN tribunal, after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in August 2019.
“He brought it up already and he said, that’s it. I will not bring it up again. So he will not bring it up until the end of his term,” Carpio told reporters after making a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands.
“We must be vigilant that there is no waiver expressing implied our sovereign rights, because we will wait for the next administration.. to assert strongly,” he adds.
Filipinos must always be brave to speak up against any “waiver” or signs of it every time such situation arises, said Carpio, who became acting Chief Justice before he retired.
The July 2016 ruling of a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal invalidating China's nine-dash line claim, will only lose its validity if a waiver has been “expressed or implied” according to Carpio.
China has no right to be within PH EEZ
Carpio also cautioned the Philippine Coast Guard against discussing a possible agreement with China to “regulate” fishing within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The idea should not be considered because China primarily, has no “right” to protect our EEZ, he said.
“They (China) cannot give us protection because they don’t have the right to be there in the first place. They don’t have the right to protect anyone there because we have jurisdiction over there, they don’t have jurisdiction,” Carpio pointed out later on in an interview.
The retired justice official earlier lambasted China for after one of its ships was spotted patrolling Ayungin Shoal on the day the Chinese Coast Guard arrived in Manila for a goodwill visit.