Cayetano hits gov’t critics for making West PH Sea a ‘partisan political issue’
MANILA, Philippines — Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday noted an alleged rise in “fake news” as the issue on the West Philippine Sea took the spotlight once more and criticized government critics for supposedly making the matter a “partisan political issue.”
During an event in Batangas City, Cayetano specifically mentioned retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who has been vocal in criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte amid the West Philippine Sea issue.
“Maraming fake news kasi ginagawang partisan political issue. Tandaan niyo, si Justice Carpio nagtayo ng partido para tumakbo sa 2022 ‘di ba?” Cayetano, who once served as foreign affairs secretary, told reporters.
(Fake news abound because they are making it a partisan political issue. Remember, Justice Carpio created a coalition that will run in the 2022 elections?)
Cayetano was referring to Carpio’s 1SAMBAYAN coalition, which aims to “unify the opposition and usher in a competent and trustworthy administration” in the national elections next year.
The ousted Speaker then challenged Carpio, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to sit down with Palace officials and discuss the issue.
“Ilabas nila kung anong tama at mali, anong rekumendasyon nila sa ating Pangulo at sabay nila sabihin sa ating Pangulo para magkaroon tayo ng unified strategy and para si Senator Trillanes, si former secretary Del Rosario at si Carpio malaman kung ano ‘yung gains ni Duterte,” Cayetano said.
(They should express what is right and what is wrong. What is their recommendation so we can have a unified strategy.)
“Ang problema isa lang nakakausap kasi nung tatlo, aa American side lang. Hindi nila nakakausap ang sa gobyerno o China,” he added.
(The problem is they are only talking to one entity—only the American side. They are not talking to the Philippine or Chinese governments.)
Cayetano said that instead of bickering over the West Philippine Sea issue, the country should just have a national strategy to address the matter.
Cayetano likewise dubbed as “fake news” claims that the Duterte administration disregarded the historic arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines position and invalidates China’s nine-dash line claim that covers almost the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.
He even claimed that former President Benigno S. Aquino III, Del Rosario, and Carpio themselves “never” imposed the arbitral ruling against China. But the decision of the UN-backed Premanent Court of Arbitration on the case filed by the Aquino administration against China’s incursions in the disputed waters was handed down in July 2016 – already during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Citing DFA records, Cayetano also said the Aquino administration had a mistake when it sent warships to the West Philippine Sea.
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