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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Debate on West Philippine sea coming soon

President Duterte dares Justice Antonio Carpio to debate on the SCS issues; Carpio accepts

MANILA – As controversies hound the lasting presence of Chinese Maritime Militia in Philippine territorial waters, President Rodrigo Duterte dared former Senior Justice Antonio Carpio to a debate.

During his most recent Talk to the People Wednesday night, President Duterte referred to Justice Carpio in almost unprintable terms for the latter’s stand on the 2016 Arbitral decision which favored the Philippines.

Gusto --- eh, gusto mo magdebate tayo? Mga dalawa, tatlong tanong lang ako. Sino nagpa-retreat? At Anong ginawa ninyo after sa retreat? Sino ang nagpa-retreat?” President Duterte said.

During the midday Malacañang Press briefing, Secretary Harry Roque said the debate has been going on but if Justice Carpio would prefer a formal debate, “kahit kalian po iyan, welcome naman po ni Presidente yan.

Later in the day, retired Justice Carpio issued a statement shortly before 1:00 P.M. which said with President Duterte’s challenge he “would resign immediately” as President if anyone could prove the chief executive was lying when he said that “Carpio (was) xxx involved in the decision to withdraw Navy ships from the West Philippine Sea” during the 2012 standoff between Philippines and Chinese naval vessels in Scarborough Shoal, Carpio said “President Duterte should now resign immediate to keep his word of honor.”

“I state under oath that I was never involved in the decision to withdraw the Philippine Navy ships from the West Philippine Sea during the 2012 Scarborough standoff. I was serving in the Supreme Court at that time and all I knew about the withdrawal oof Philippine Navy ships was what I read in the newspapers. I call as my witnesses former President Benigno Aquino III and the Defense Secretary, Foreign Affairs Secretary, and the Chiefs of the Philippine Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard at that time,” he further said.

As to President Duterte’s challenge to debate with him on the West Philippine Sea issue, Senior Associate Justice Carpio said “I gladly accept the challenge, anytime in the President’s challenge anytime and the President’s convenience.” (Melo M. Acuña

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