Supreme Court associate justice gives talk on West PH Sea at Silliman University

By Roi Lomotan

Antonio Carpio
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio delivers a lecture on the Hague Proceedings on the West Philippine Sea in Silliman University, Dumaguete City held on Feb. 26. (PIA7-NegOr)

DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 26 (PIA) – Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio came to Silliman University today and delivered an in-depth lecture on The Hague Proceeding on the West Philippine Sea.

Speaking to an audience composed of students and some faculty members of different universities in Dumaguete, Carpio discussed the arguments presented by the Philippine government to the international arbitral tribunal.

These include old maps that debunked China’s historical claims over the disputed areas of West Philippine Sea as well as the legal points based on international laws that government maritime conduct and behavior.

“Our strategy is once we get a favorable ruling we will gather the world to support us and convince China to comply. Our audience will be the Chinese people because the government of China will not act to comply unless the Chinese people understand this,” he disclosed.

Carpio believes the matter is about educating Chinese people that the narrative that they own the South China Sea is false.

The magistrate acknowledges that this will take a long time but first there must be a ruling coming from a third party tribunal.

After this, the country will then campaign for international support.

Carpio explained that countries may be less cooperative with China if it will not comply with the ruling of the tribunal.

“The world will not impose an economic embargo with China. I don’t think they will do that for us. It will be more of countries will be less cooperative of China. China wants a maritime silk road they (other countries) will not join. Of course in every international fora they will criticize for being a rogue state” he said.

“China will lose the respect of the world. China wants recognition. China wants to project its soft power so that other countries can emulate China. China maybe powerfully economically but culturally and politically they’re despised by the world because they bully the rest of the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, the senior associate justice of the High Court also cited the need to maintain a credible defense force to protect its sovereignty over its areas in the West Philippine Sea.

“It’s nice we’re taking the legal track but that is really not enough. While doing the legal track, we must work on our self-defense,” he noted.

Doing so may entail sacrifices because the country will divert funds to augment its defense capabilities.

But this is also necessary for long term survival, he added.

Despite the ongoing dispute over the West Philippine Sea, Carpio said this does not reflect the totality of the country’s relationship with China. (rmn/ral/PIA7-NegOr/This article was first published at PIA Website on Feb. 26, 2016)

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