Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday revealed that someone from the Aquino administration attempted to have him removed from the Philippine delegation to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague in 2016.
Interviewed on “Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie,” Carpio said someone from Malacañang blacked out his name from the list of people who will be deployed to Hague for the final oral argument on the Philippines’ arbitration case against China.
The Philippines and other countries are involved in a territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea.
The Philippine government arbitration case challenged the validity of China’s sprawling territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea and sought to clarify the territorial entitlements of certain Chinese-occupied features under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Secretary [Albert] del Rosario listed down the members of the delegation of the Philippines to attend and he put me in the list. When he sent it to Malacañang, someone in Malacañang removed my name,” Carpio recalled.
“Del Rosario wrote back, ‘If Justice Carpio is not going, I will not go,’” he added.
The associate justice was still able to attend the oral argument thanks to Del Rosario’s message.
“I was mad because it was an important [event]. But you have to control yourself,” he said.
Carpio was a crucial member of the Philippine delegation that won the landmark arbitral ruling invalidating China’s massive claims over the West Philippine Sea.
He retired last October when he turned 70, the mandatory retirement age for members of the judiciary. — Julia Mari Ornedo/BAP, GMA News