Duterte ‘out of his mind’ for belittling arbitral win over China, says Magdalo solon
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte must be “out of his mind” for belittling the country’s victory before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague over China as a mere “piece of paper,” Magdalo Party-list Rep Manuel Cabochan III said Thursday.
The arbitral body’s ruling stated that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea (in the South China Sea), and that China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid.
The PCA issued its award despite China’s absence throughout the proceedings, refusing to recognize the case.
“Duterte is out of his mind. The arbitration win of the Philippines is not just a piece of paper,” Cabochan said in a statement, adding: “It is a legal affirmation of what is ours — an affirmation that China’s claims are baseless and illegal.”
According to Cabochan, Duterte seemed to forget that his power and position are based on the Constitution, which he also once referred to as “paper.”
“That piece of paper demands him to defend our sovereignty. The paper that placed him in power is the same paper that can take him out if he continues to betray our nation. That is the same paper our Armed Forces upholds and defends,” said the representative.
Meanwhile, Cabochan also commented on Duterte’s debate challenge to retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio over the West Philippine Sea, which the latter accepted.
“Wala bang mag-a-advise sa Presidente na huwag na magdunung-dunungan at magtapang-tapangan sa issue ng West Philippine Sea?” he said.
(Will no one advise the president to avoid pretending to be knowledgeable and courageous on the issue of the West Philippine Sea?)
“Patalo naman ang tindig niya dito kaya hindi siya mananalo sa debate at hindi rin naman siya mag-re-resign,” added the official.
(His stance on this is defeatist so he will not win this debate and he will not resign.)
He further said that the President’s statements over the issue are “detrimental” to the country’s claims, adding that Duterte is becoming a lawyer of China.
“The President’s pronouncements are detrimental to our claims. Imbes na ipagtanggol ang ating karapatan at teritoryo ay nagiging abogado pa siya ng China,” said Cabochan.
(Instead of defending our rights and territory, he is becoming a lawyer for China.)
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