Duterte's move to probe Del Rosario on Panatag Shoal standoff backed by Locsin

Published May 6, 2021, 3:51 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Thursday expressed his support to the suggestion of President Duterte that former DFA Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio should be investigated and held accountable for the pullout of Philippine ships during the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff.

“We’re all old on both sides of the argument about the loss of Scarborough Shoal; it is time that those ones who were in charge of protecting our territory come clean on what exactly happened when we walked-rather sailed away from a confrontation. Could anyone make them do that?” Locsin tweeted.

Locsin said the narratives on why the Philippines pulled out from the stand-off “keeps changing” and he wants to ascertain as to who ordered the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Gregorio Del Pilar to withdraw, leaving behind Chinese maritime ships.

“No. We get people demand the truth the full truth and nothing but the truth. Was their reason the same? Fear of war? Or to please their master abroad that native Commies hate?” Locsin said in another tweet, in response to a query by former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño on why the President is raising his issues against Del Rosario and Carpio only now.

In a statement on Tuesday, Del Rosario said it was Chinese President Xi Jinping who “deceitfully breached” the Scarborough agreement brokered by the United States for the withdrawal of all ships from both sides “by a certain hour”.

President Duterte, on Wednesday, lashed out anew on Del Rosario for his role in the standoff. Del Rosario served as Foreign Affairs secretary from 2011 to 2015.

“Ikaw Albert, Alberto, bakit mo pinaatras? Kaninong permission ka nanghingi? Ngayon kung wala kang maibigay, p***** i** mo, huwag mong ibigay sa akin ‘yong kasalanan mo. Naghahanap kayo ng libre. Alam ninyo one day, one day you will be tasked to answer for that iyang pag-order ninyo, dapat imbestigahin ka (Albert, why did you order the pullout? Whose permission did you ask? Now if you can’t explain, son of a b*tch, don’t give me that. It’s your fault. You want a free ride. One day, you will be tasked to answer for that order. You should be investigated),” the President said.

Del Rosario was one of the architects of the Philippines arbitration case against China filed in 2014 before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

On July 12, 2016, the United Nations-backed court ruled in favor of the Philippine petition that invalidated China’s excessive “nine-dash line” claim in the South China Sea.

However, the Duterte administration has chosen to forge closer bilateral relations with Beijing despite the favorable ruling of the international tribunal.