By Audrey Morallo
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Monday that the government of the Philippines should avoid actions or statements that express or imply a waived Philippine sovereignty over any of its territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In a subtle dig at President Rodrigo Duterte, Carpio said in a statement that any declaration saying that the country could not stop China from building on Scarborough Shoal actually encouraged the Chinese to build on it.
Carpio’s unsolicited advice came after Duterte said Sunday that the Philippines was helpless in stopping China from pursuing its reported plan to install a monitoring station in Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
“Avoid any act, statement or declaration that expressly or impliedly waives Philippine sovereignty to any Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea. This will preserve for future generations of Filipinos their national patrimony in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.
Carpio also reminded the president that as the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) he was tasked by the Constitution to defend the national territory.
Carpio though admitted that the country was no match to China militarily. He said, however, that this should not deter Duterte from fulfilling his constitutional duty.
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