Carpio rebuffs Duterte over SONA claim on WPS

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has rebuffed President Duterte over his claim in his last State of the Nation that China is already in possession of the entire West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Carpio disclosed China occupies only seven artificial islands in the Kalayaan Island Group, Panatag, and Sandy Cay contrary to the Chief Executive’s assertion.

“China is not in possession of the West Philippine Sea. China is in possession of 7 features in the Spratlys plus Scarborough Shoal,” Carpio bared.

Furthermore, Carpio, who is set to retire from the high court this year, bared that Sandy Cay was seized by China during the administration of Mr. Duterte.

Also, Carpio clarified that Recto Bank is not a traditional fishing ground.

“Traditional fishing applies only in the territorial sea and archipelagic waters. There is no traditional fishing in the EEZ (exclusive economic zone). This is very clear in the arbitral award of 12 July 2016. Reed Bank is part of Philippine EEZ. There can be no traditional fishing in Reed Bank,” Carpio said.

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