MANILA — The Philippines should seek another arbitration case to force China to agree to ground rules in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday.
Carpio made the remarks after a Chinese coast guard vessel maneuvered at close range with a Philippine vessel in the joint fishing area earlier this month.
The 2016 arbitration award states that China, Vietnam and the Philippines can fish at Panatag Shoal, Carpio said.
“The first thing is to agree on the ground rules, how many tonnes of fish can each side catch in the year because we don’t want to overfish. There have to be ground rules. The China refuses to even discuss it,” he said. ANC advance.
“What we can do is take another action to force China to agree to ground rules. We are already quantifying the losses of our fishermen…and we are seeking damages from China for those losses.”
It’s important to get the world on the side of the Philippines, Carpio said.
“We can ask Vietnam to join us in this arbitration so that we have more countries on our side. It’s really a matter of putting world opinion on your side. We can isolate China by putting very clearly world opinion on our side,” he said.
“The (UN) joint assembly is the place of world opinion. That’s exactly what Ukraine is doing, getting the world on its side and that’s important.”
The Philippines should also conduct joint patrols with other nations, Carpio added.
“To me, an independent foreign policy is a policy that protects our national interest and we do not protect another country’s interest. Countries are allowed to forge common collective self-defense,” he said.
“We should do a joint patrol not only with the United States but with other countries like Malaysia and Vietnam. Even ask Indonesia to join. If you unite, you will have a stronger position. The China wants a bilateral dispute, it doesn’t want to internationalize the dispute because it doesn’t want to be isolated.”
Other nations have sought to ally with the United States because it is the only one that can “counterbalance China”, according to Carpio.
“Even a country like South Korea, Japan, they pay the United States to station troops in their country because it ensures that if there is an attack on them, the United States will be immediately involved,” did he declare.
“It’s the same policy in Europe. Poland wants American troops there because it’s a trigger. Ukraine wants to be part of NATO because it’s the assurance that if Ukraine is attacked, all the rest of NATO will defend Ukraine. Right now, Ukraine is on its own.”
The country needs a president who will assert his rights in the Western Philippine Sea, Carpio said.
“My personal opinion is that for the past 6 years (President Rodrigo) Duterte has said ‘I am useless in the Western Philippine Sea’, if we have another 6 years of a president saying the same thing, we will lose probably the Western Philippine Sea”. Wed already,” he said.
“(Ferdinand) Marcos Jr said ‘everything is fine in the western Philippine Sea, I’m boiling planes, jet planes.’ He has a defeatist policy, an appeasement policy, exactly what Duterte does. If you do that talo ka talaga.”
(Marcos Jr said “we have already lost in the Western Philippine Sea, let’s not buy more ships, jet planes”. He has a defeatist policy, an appeasement policy, exactly what Duterte does. If you do this, you will surely lose.)