Carpio made the call as he discussed the ongoing struggle of the Philippines to rightfully assert its rights over the West Philippine Sea against China’s encroachment during the “AtinAngPinas” virtual forum together with Sen. Risa Hontiveros and former foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario.
“Vote for a candidate that will assert the arbitral ruling, who will support, defend the rights of our fishermen in Scarborough Shoal,” Carpio said.
“We have to make it an election issue in 2022 because that’s how the government works. It has, through our government. We must convince our own government,” he pointed out.
Carpio said he finds it strange that Vietnam and Malaysia are now willing to sign an agreement with the Philippine government that in the Spratlys—one of the contested territories—no geological feature generates an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in all territorial seas.
“That would have been in consonance with the ruling (at the Hague) if we sign it with Vietnam and Malaysia, we fortify their ruling but our own government doesn’t want to sign that because that would displease China,” he lamented.
“Our problem today is that our government simply doesn’t want to displease China,” he added.
Carpio said Malaysia recently filed an extended continental shelf claim in the South China Sea late last year, while the Philippines still has to file its own extended continental shelf claim of the coast of Luzon facing the contested body of water.