On Friday, October 15, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio issued a statement saying that in the event President Rodrigo Duterte surrenders the country’s sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal, he can be impeached.
According to the Senior Justice, the act of the President of conceding to Beijing on matters pertaining to Scarborough Shoal is a violation of the Constitution.
As Justice Carpio was speaking to a forum at the Asian Institute of Management, he emphasized that the President can face impeachment.
“I would not want to go to that extent because if the president concedes now our sovereignty of Scarborough Shoal, yes, you can impeach him,” said the Senior Justice.
According to Carpio if Duterte would be giving up on Scarborough at this point in time, the country may never recover the territory as China does not have any plans of submitting to the courts of the Philippines.
The case may be brought to the International Court of Justice, however, if China will not participate nor agree to the proceedings, the ICJ will still not have any jurisdiction over the said country, rendering any decision handed down by the said court ineffective.
“Once we lose sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal, we lose it forever. I would not want to wait for that time because we cannot recover it anymore,” Carpio said.
Article I of the 1987 Constitution states the National Territory, which would comprise all other territories of the Philippines, where Scarborough Shoal falls.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration has already handed the ruling that the claim of China using the 9-dash line has no legal basis.
Duterte will be meeting with Chinese President next week together with 400 businessmen. He said that he will not touch the topic on Scarborough Shoal as the Philippines can’t handle China. He said that he would be asking China to allow Filipino fishermen to likewise fish in the waters around the Shoal.
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