MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has inhibited from the environmental protection case filed with the Supreme Court (SC) by Zambales and Palawan fishermen aimed at compelling the government to protect marine resources in the West Philippine Sea and stop Chinese environmental depredation in Philippine waters.
Carpio confirmed that he has voluntarily inhibited from the writ of kalikasan petition during full court session yesterday.
“There is no compulsory ground to inhibit, but I voluntarily inhibited for the peace of mind of the SolGen (solicitor general),” he explained in a text message.
Solicitor General Jose Calida had sought Carpio’s mandatory inhibition in the case, citing alleged “personal bias and manifest partiality,” as shown by the senior magistrate’s “active participation in the South China Sea (SCS) arbitral proceedings” and his “continuing public pronouncements against the actions taken by the
government in relation to the SCS Arbitral Award.”
In the writ of kalikasan petition, the fishermen seek to compel the government to protect, preserve and rehabilitate the environment at Panatag Shoal, Ayungin Shoal and Panganiban Reef.
His fellow justices accepted his decision, according to SC spokesman Brian Hosaka.