Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is willing to have a debate with anyone as long as it’s about the West Philippine Sea.
Carpio only regrets that President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew from his own challenge.
“I was looking forward to a debate with him because this is the best opportunity to explain to the public, everyone will be glued on TV to watch it. It’s the best way to explain the issue to the public, I’m sad he withdrew but that’s his privilege,” said the former magistrate.
But Carpio is ready to face any cabinet member, even Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
According to Carpio, he was not affected by Duterte’s insult to him and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
It is also wrong to blame him or Del Rosario for the standoff at Scarborough shoal.
“I did not know about the negotiations to withdraw, I was in the Supreme Court… The President said ‘if Carpio can prove that he never participated in the withdrawal, I will resign.’ I can prove it. The entire Cabinet of former President Aquino can testify I never participated in any of those discussions. If he is true to his word of honor, he should resign,” said Carpio.
Carpio willing to debate with Roque on West Philippine Sea issues
Roque replied that Duterte will not resign because of this.
“Wishful thinking po ‘yan… Malinaw pa rin sa sikat ng araw na hindi si Mr.. Carpio ang sinisisi ni Presidente sa pag-withdraw ng Navy sa Scarborough shoal,” said Roque.
For former Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, instead of Carpio and Del Rosario, he said the President should blame China for not following through on the Scarborough shoal talks in 2012.
Cuisia was included in that conversation which was mediated by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell.
“I suggested simultaneous withdrawal of ships… He went back to talk to Chinese ambassador and came back to me and said they agreed with that agreement… We would not have proceeded if they did not agree. So clearly, China breached the agreement… I cannot understand why he (Duterte) is not blaming the Chinese for having breached the agreement,” said Cuisia.