Esperon twits Carpio: Exercise of foreign policy is not through SC
MANILA, Philippines—National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on Tuesday told Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that foreign policy does not fall under Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.
“The exercise of foreign policy is not through the Supreme Court. It’s not through the Supreme Court,” Esperon said during the government’s Post-Sona press briefing.
“I think the honorable justice is a member of the Supreme Court, not of the executive branch that pursues foreign policy,” he added.
Esperon issued the statement after Carpio, a vocal advocate of the Philippines’ maritime claims, refuted President Rodrigo Duterte when he said that China is “in possession” of the West Philippine Sea.
The Duterte administration has been criticized for shelving the Philippines’ arbitral victory against China’s expansive nine-dash-line claim to the South China Sea in 2016, in exchange for warmer trade relations with Asia’s largest economy.
Esperon also stressed that the country’s diplomatic relations with China do not “start and end with the West Philippine Sea.”
“Marami tayong tinitingnan, ‘yan ang binabalanse ng Pangulo. Kaya nga siya ang naturingan na prime architect of foreign policy,’ he said.
In his fourth Sona, the President defended himself from critics of his supposed soft stance against China, saying that he was only performing a “delicate balancing act” on the long-standing territorial dispute.
The Philippines, along with fellow Southeast Asian neighbors Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, have overlapping claims to the sea along with China.
Maritime peace in the disputed territories was again tested when a Chinese trawler rammed and sank a Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank, an area within Manila’s exclusive economic zone.
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