DUTERTE SHOULD TAKE CHARGE OVER WPS ISSUE, NOT SUBORDINATES – CARPIO
Written by Mart Shalom E. Bernales
THURSDAY, April 15 — Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio calls out President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the efforts, not leaving the matter to his officials, in resolving the newly sparked West Philippine Sea turmoil, stressing that China only listens to a nation’s leader.
Though the Department of Foreign Affairs led by Secretary Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Jr. and Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued stern and bold statements regarding the issue, Carpio believes that the Malacañang Palace is still oblivious when it comes to the West Philippine Sea issue wherein numerous Chinese vessels are present.
“This is a very important national issue. Our sovereign rights is involved. The President must speak, he must stand up himself because if his subordinates do the talking, China will not listen because China will only listen to the leader of the nation and if the President is silent, then China will continue,” the former Chief Justice stated.
Carpio also said that even if Pres. Duterte decides to speak up; it is still not a guarantee that the Chinese militia vessels will leave the disputed territory, but China will feel the heat as their relationship with the Philippine President will deteriorate.
In a bold statement, Carpio claimed that DFA and DND’s efforts are not enough because Duterte has something different in mind and that China knows the actual score with the Filipino leader.
Malacañang has yet to state a response to Carpio’s remarks.
Duterte recently stated that the issue would not hinder the relationship between the Philippines and China, insisting that the rift could be resolved diplomatically.
This statement of the President eventually re-ignited the opposition’s claim that Duterte is a slave of China.
Malacañang lauded the National Task Force’s efforts on the West Philippine Sea, saying that the task force is consistently invoking the rights and sovereignty of the Philippines over the resource-rich waters.
Meanwhile, China appealed on Wednesday that the Philippine officials need to stop hyping up the issue via Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
“Stop giving negative reactions to the situation in the West Philippine Sea despite the ongoing rift in the troubled territory,” Zhao said.
With Duterte still silent about the issue and the intrusion of Philippine ally, the United States, the fate of the disputed waters is still uncertain and the peace among nations involved.