Statement

On the West Philippine Sea debate


Much as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wanted to debate with Mr. Antonio Carpio, the Chief Executive heeded the advice of the Cabinet and decided to designate his Spokesperson instead. Debating with Carpio is a demotion. A realization. This after the former Supreme Court justice expressed so much excitement. But perhaps come June 2022, we can have one.

The Philippines maintains its claim in the contested areas of the West Philippine Sea. We consistently assert and exercise our sovereignty and sovereign rights.

Also, we disagree with the assertion of Mr. Carpio when he said it is pointless to debate about Scarborough Shoal and Mischief Reef for he is the one who accused the President of committing grand estafa reminding the Chief Executive of the 2016 presidential debate where Scarborough Shoal was mentioned.

This, and other issues raised by the retired magistrate, such as the President’s alleged setting aside of the 2016 Arbitral Award, the fishing agreement, among others, could be the parameters of the debate.

The Palace reiterates its challenge to the former Justice – and former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, if and when he wishes to join, in tandem with former Justice Carpio—to set once and for all the record straight at their designated time and venue. I will face him/them.

Debate mode set. Bring it on.