Filipinos stand to lose the West Philippine Sea if President Rodrigo Duterte would continue to assert that the country does not need the military aid of the United States, according to retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Thursday.
"The President said over and over again, 'We cannot go to war against China because we will be massacred. Our soldiers will be massacred, we dont stand a chance.' He has said that. And of course, we know that's why we need allies," Carpio said during a forum in Ateneo De Manila University.
"You ask any military analyst or strategist whether we can war on our won against China, no way because China is a nuclear state. Without allies we will lose the West Philippine Sea. That’s for sure," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte, after sending notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, said the state forces assured that the Philippines can develop its own defense capabilities even without the help of the long-term ally.
"Kasi ‘pag hindi natin kaya, we have no business being a Republic. You might as well choose. We can be a territory of the Americans or we can be a province of China. Kung hindi natin kaya, ganun lang," Duterte had said.
Meanwhile, Carpio pointed out that even developed countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and other member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are maintaining their military ties with the US.
"We have to use allies," he said.
two-decade old pact which governs the conduct of visiting US personnel holding military exercises in the Philippines. It shall take within 180 days.
According to Article 9 of the VFA, the agreement "shall remain in force until the expiration of 180 days from the date on which either party gives the other party notice in writing that it desires to terminate the agreement."
Carpio said that a treaty is a law and terminating the VFA would need Senate concurrence.
The Senate plans to seek clarification from the Supreme Court on its role in the abrogation of the VFA. —LDF, GMA News