No more face-off: Duterte backs out of debate with Carpio, assigns Roque instead

By: Krissy Aguilar - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ - Inquirer.net | May 07,2021 - 02:14 PM

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. (file photos)

MANILA, Philippines — The much touted face-off between President Rodrigo Duterte and retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio may not materialize after the Chief Executive assigned his spokesperson to represent him in a debate over the issue on the Philippines’ legal victory over China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte has designated Atty. Harry Roque to face Carpio on whether the country may enforce the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the country, amid recent incursions of China in contested waters, which critics claimed undermined the country’s sovereignty.

This, despite that it was Duterte himself who challenged Carpio to a debate over the West Philippine Sea, which the former magistrate already accepted.

“Ang sabi po ni Presidente, tinatalaga nya po ang inyong abang lingkod na makipag debate kay retired Justice Antonio Carpio. Tinanggap ko naman po ang pagtatalaga ni Presidente,” Roque said in an interview over state-run People’s Television Network.

“Sabihin lang po ng Philippine Bar Association kung kailan, saan ang debate at sisipot po tayo roon,” he added.

Both Carpio and Roque are considered experts in international law.

EDV

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TAGS: 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Carpio, China's claims in the West Philippine Sea, debate, Duterte, Roque

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