By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — Holding joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea with rival claimant China would be ironic, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday.
Carpio said that agreeing to patrol the area with China would appear as an admission that the country's sovereign rights over the disputed waters are not secure.
"If we have, let's say, joint patrol in Benham Rise there will be no problem because China does not claim Benham Rise but since China claims the West Philippine Sea, it will be strange for us to agree that they patrol the area with us," Carpio said in an interview with ANC's Headstart.
The magistrate is in favor of holding joint patrols with the United States rather than China. He said the US can assist the Philippines in protecting its exclusive economic zone, as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.
"That's the mandate of the Constitution so how do you protect you exclusive economic zone? The only way you can do it is to send patrols because if there are poachers there—Chinese fishing vessels poaching on our fish—the only way to stop them is to have patrols," Carpio said.
Read the full story at PhilStar