Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent remarks regarding the situation on the West Philippine Sea is considered a betrayal of public ttrust.
Carpio also told ANC that Duterte’s statement that the arbitral ruling in favor of the Philippines is just a piece of paper that could be thrown away in the wastebasket is “dangerous.”
“The head of state, the President, or even the foreign minister can bind the country with his pronouncements and if these pronouncements are adverse, admissions against interest, this will bind the country if accepted by the other party. And that’s why it’s very dangerous,” he said.
“Legally China is not in possession. And if he says that, what happens to our fishermen, what happens to the service contractors? They will not get the gas,” Carpio added.
He also insisted that Duterte must also stop Chinese nationals from fishing in the West Philippine Sea.
“The Filipino people must demand that President Duterte retract all these statements. He must retract. All of us must come out with manifestos, position papers; all organizations, all schools must come out with resolutions,” he said.
Carpio: Duterte’s recent statements on WPS a betrayal of public trust
However, Carpio admitted that impeaching Duterte who enjoys majority support in the House of Representatives will be an exercise in futility.
“He has the majority, so it will never prosper. So, that’s a problem because there is a failure in the checking mechanism. Congress should check the President but Congress is not doing its job,” Carpio said.
The retired judge also noted to Duterte’s 2018 statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping had vowed to protect him from any ouster attempts.
“I think that is what’s behind his mind, that President Xi Jinping is his personal protector against his own military if there is a coup d’etat, so he will side, whenever possible, with China against the Philippine interest and we see that everyday,” he said.
Duterte recently backed out in a debate challenge with Carpio.
“I was looking forward to a debate with him, because this is the best opportunity to explain the issue to the public,” Carpio said. “I’m sad that he withdrew but that’s his privilege.