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Lunok muna: Carpio tells Duterte to seek US support over Scarborough

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President Rodrigo Duterte may have to swallow his pride to counter the latest move of China on the contested Scarbouough Shoal.

To ensure the territorial integrity of the Philippines against the more powerful military might of China, Supreme Court (SC) Justice Antonio Carpio reckoned that Duterte should seek help from the United States.

“Ask the United States to declare that Scarborough Shoal is part of Philippine territory for purposes of the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty since the shoal has been part of Philippine territory even during the American colonial period,” Carpio said Monday, March 20.

Carpio gave the remark knowing full well that Duterte is a critic of the US.

“The U.S. has declared the Senkakus as part of Japanese territory for purposes of the US-Japan mutual defense treaty,” the magistrate cited.

Carpio also suggested that Duterte send the Philippine Navy to patrol Scarborough Shoal.

“If the Chinese attack Philippine navy vessels, then invoke the Phil-U.S. Mutual defense Treaty which covers any armed attack on Philippine navy vessels operating in the South China Sea,” he said.

If the President does not want to risk Filipino lives, Carpio said that Duterte shiould “accept the standing U.S. offer to hold joint naval patrols in the South China Sea, which includes Scarborough Shoal. ”

“This will demonstrate joint Philippine and US determination to prevent China from building on Scarborough Shoal,” he pointed out.