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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Wednesday thanked retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio for commending President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of the Philippines’ arbitral win against China before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami kay Justice Carpio. Sa wakas napuri ang Presidente ni Justice Carpio,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with state-run PTV4.

Roque said Duterte has been consistent in his position on the South China Sea issue.

“Sa mula’t mula sinasabi niya hindi siya mamimigay ng teritoryo. Sa mula’t mula sinasabi niya hindi pupuwede burahin ang panalo natin sa Tribunal. At ang sabi nga niya sa talumpati sa UN, ito’y kabahagi na ng international law,” he explained.

“Ngayon lang yan narinig galing sa bibig ng Presidente sa UN dahil ngayon lang naman nagsalita ang Presidente sa UN. Pero wala pong bago diyan, yan po ay consistent position ng President,” he added.

Early Wednesday, Duterte reaffirmed the arbitral victory on the South China Sea case and rejected attempts to undermine the ruling.

“The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” he said in his pre-recorded speech at the 75th UN general debate.

The President also welcomed the increasing number of countries that have manifested support of the award.

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