Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of the supreme court said on Nov. 5, 2015, that a president who might consider dividing the West Philippine Sea into two and share it with the other nation will most likely be impeached.
Justice Carpio said during a maritime and territorial dispute forum, that splitting the West Philippine sea and go against the Constitution is an impeachable offense.
Justice Carpio explained his points on the issue, saying “what if the bully goes to your house, and say, ‘get out,’ and you have the title of your house, but because he’s a bully and you’re a small guy, will you just tell him, ‘Okay, I’ll give you half of the house?”
He said, “Why don’t we just cooperate with China? Where in fact the UNCLOS grants us 200 nautical miles, the same with China.” In which he was alluding to the international law that governs maritime disputes and grants a country 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone.
“We have an agreement (under UNCLOS). China is saying we are entitled to 200 nautical miles but we’re claiming the rest of the South China Sea because of historic right. They cannot do that anymore… Fifty-fifty na lang? It would be unconstitutional. A person who would do that would be impeached,” Justice Carpio added.
It appears like a “pahaging” to Vice President Jejomar Binay, who remains the only presidential wannabe who upheld a “joint venture” with China to explore the oil and gas on the disputed sea
Binay has said he is interested into opening bilateral talks and that a little nation like the Philippines needs China’s capital.
Justice Carpio said any such administration which would pull back the case before the International Arbitration Tribunal since it needs to talk with China is a disaster and a catastrophe. “I think the case would be decided before the next president assumes office. In the event, it would not be decided, and there’s a new president, the UNCLOS itself encourages parties to come to an amicable settlement even while the case is going on.”
“If a new president comes in and the case is still going on, there is nothing wrong with talking to China. What is wrong is if the case is withdrawn. It should not be withdrawn… If the president will withdraw the case because we’re willing to talk with China, that would be catastrophic,” he added.
Justice Carpio additionally praised the tribunal’s most recent choice to take jurisdiction of the case, that the arbitration court even disregarded the ancient nine-dash line, China’s most grounded proof to demonstrate that it possesses the waters inside the said limit base on their historical rights. - Jason E.