- President agreed with SC justice that conceding PH’s claims in West PH Sea is an impeachable offense
- He assured Carpio no bargaining will be done, just a renewal of friendly relations with China
- He said he will actually insist on PH’s rights using Hague decision
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte agreed with Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s view that he could be committing an impeachable offense if he would concede the country’s claim to Scarborough Shoal and elsewhere in the West Philippine Sea to China.
“Its an impeachable offense. I do not fight with that statement. It’s all correct, it’s all legal, and so I agree with him,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying before his state trip to China. “I said we cannot barter which is not ours. It belongs to the Filipino people. I cannot be the sole authorized agent for that is not allowed under the constitution. He is correct.”
At the same time, Duterte assured Carpio that he won’t give away any of the country’s territory or rights to China but will just seek to improve ties with the Asian giant.
“I look forward to exchanging views with the leader of China on how we can further improve our relationship so we can identify emerging areas of partnership and various fields of cooperation,” he said.
As for the disputed territories, Duterte said he will insist on the country’s claim using the Hague tribunal’s decision.
“We will stick towards our claim. We do not bargain anything there. We continue to insist that it’s ours, and that the Tribunal, the international decision, will be taken up, but there will be no hard impositions,” he said. “We will talk, and maybe, paraphrase everything in the judgment and set the limits of our territories, the special economic zones. It will be, no bargaining there. It is ours.”