Carpio dares Duterte to keep ‘word of honor’ to resign amid WPS claims
MANILA, Philippines — Retired Supreme Court Associated Justice Antonio Carpio on Thursday turned the tables on President Duterte, saying the latter “should now resign immediately to keep his word of honor.”
Carpio issued the challenge to Duterte after making a statement under oath that he has no hand in the decision to withdraw Philippine Navy ships from the West Philippine Sea in 2012.
Duterte, in his pre-recorded briefing Wednesday night, accused Carpio and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario of involvement in the decision to withdraw Philippine Navy ships from the West Philippine Sea.
“That’s the truth, my countrymen. You can ask any lawyer. That’s what happened. Now, if I’m lying, then I would resign—immediately, tomorrow,” Duterte said.
Carpio, in a statement, said at the time of the withdrawal of the Philippine Navy ships, he was a Supreme Court Associate Justice and learned only of such an event over the news.
“President Duterte should now resign immediately to keep his word of honor. I state under oath that I was never involved in the decision to withdraw Philippine Navy ships from the West Philippine Sea during the 2012 Scarborough standoff,” Carpio said in a statement.
“At that time and all I knew about the withdrawal of 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 and the Coast Guard at that time,” he added.
Last month, more than 200 Chinese maritime militia vessels were seen from the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef. The country has lodged a diplomatic protest.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, “the continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine Sea.”
Last year, in his state of the nation address, Duterte admitted that China is “in possession of the property.”
“China is in possession. So what can we do? We have to go to war and I can’t afford it. Maybe some other President can, but I cannot. I’m inutile on that matter, I tell you. And I’m willing to admit it. I cannot do anything,’’ Duterte said.
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