Roque: Carpio must resign first before commenting on West PH Sea issue
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio should resign as magistrate first before commenting on issues concerning the West Philippine Sea.
This was what former presidential mouthpiece Harry Roque had to say about Carpio’s “non-war options” for President Rodrigo Duterte to enforce the historical ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands.
On Friday, July 12, was the third anniversary of the Philippines’ victory against China’s claim over the South China Sea. The PCA decision favored Manila’s case against Beijing’s nine-dash line that covers almost the entire South China Sea.
“Hindi po natin kinakailangan ng option ni Justice Carpio dahil ang option po ng Pilipinas na sinusunod ngayon ni Presidente Duterte ay nakasaad po sa UN [United Nations] Charter. ‘Yan po ang negotiation o mabuting usapin sa ating karatig bansa,” Roque said Monday during the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City.
According to Carpio, Duterte can enforce the PCA ruling going to war. He said that war or submission to China is a “false option” and that the government should stop its “defeatist” attitude regarding the dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
But Roque chided Carpio, saying: “Bakit naman ito si Justice Carpio ang daming sinasabi eh siya ‘yung nakaupong mahistrado. ‘Yung mga nagsasalitang ganito po ay dapat mga politiko po ‘yan, mga policy-maker. Siguro po dapat magbitiw muna si Justice Carpio, tumakbo (sa) Senado, Kongreso, o Presidente bago siya magsasalita ng ganito dahil ito po ay labag sa canons of judicial ethics.”
(Why is Justice Carpio saying much when he is a sitting magistrate. Those who talk like that should be politicians, policy-makers. Perhaps Justice Carpio should first resign, run for Senator, Congress, or President before he talks like that because this is a violation of the canons of judicial ethics.)
“Dahil ang isyu pong ito ay pwedeng madala sa Supreme Court at kahit anong kasunduan na pinasok ni Presidente ay pwedeng makwestiyon sa Korte Suprema,” he added.
(Because this issue could be brought to the Supreme Court and whatever agreement the President entered into could be questioned before the Supreme Court.)
Roque pointed out that according to the Code of Judicial Conduct, magistrates should only speak through the decisions they make.
“Sa canon of judicial ethics ay sinasabi na ang mga mahistrado dapat magsalita lamang sa pamamagitan ng kanilang desisyon,” he explained. /kga
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