President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night hit former Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, blaming the two for the construction activities that China was able to do at the West Philippine Sea (WPS) during their time.
In his weekly address, Duterte said China's occupation of the WPS happened during the Aquino administration.
Carpio and Del Rosario were at the forefront of the Philippines' case against China's claims in the disputed waters -- a case that Manila eventually won.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016 invalidated China's historical claims and upheld the Philippines exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
"Kung bright kayo, bakit nawala ang West Philippine Sea sa atin? Panahon ninyo 'yon eh. Panahon ninyo na talagang nandiyan kayo sa pwesto. Eh kung bright kayo, bakit nawala? Ngayong China ang naghawak doon, ako na 'yong niluluslos niyo na maggawa ng paraan," Duterte said.
(If you are bright, why did we lose the West Philippine Sea? This was during your time. It was the time when you were in office. If you are bright, why was this (territory) lost? Now China has a hold on the area, I am the you chide to do something about it)
"Anong ginawa ninyong nasa gobyerno? Ikaw, Albert, ikaw nagsabi sa Navy na umatras kayo because of the Americans or you were afraid? Nawalan ka ng bayag diyan. Sana sinabi mo we will stand our ground. We will not retreat. We will not get out of the West Philippine Sea because it's ours and we are calling for at least an offer for the United States to send a flotilla of ships para to back us up," he said.
(What did you do when you were in government? You, Albert, you told the Navy to back down because of the Americans or you were afraid? You lost your balls. You should have said that we will stand our ground)
"Nasa Supreme Court naman kayo noon, bakit di niyo sinabihan si P-Noy na maggawa nito, maggawa noon instead nag-retreat kayo. Ang naabutan ko, talo na tayo. Ang China kumasa na ng husto na kanila talaga kaya," Duterte added.
[You were part of the Supreme Court at that time, why did you not tell P-Noy (President Benigno Aquino III) that you would do something but instead you retreat. What I reached was that it (the territory) was lost. China asserted and this cannot be undone]
Further, Duterte said the Philippines has a choice of using force in the WPS dispute, but added he won't send Filipino soldiers to hell.
"I have a choice of going to war, mamamatay tayong lahat kasi wala talaga tayong armas or I will just send my soldiers to hell which I'll never do. Hindi ko ipalaban mga sundalo ko. Kailangan kung may laban, manalo tayo," the president said.
[I have a choice of going to war, we were all die because we do not have weapons or I will just send my soldiers to hell which I'll never do. I will not allow the soldiers to go into battle. If there should be a war, we should be able to win.]
"For China, tapos na 'yon, may decision na. Ayaw nila sumunod. Tayo naman, we have a decision but we are at a loss on how to get back physically the West Philippine Sea. 'Yan ang problema," he added.
[For China, this (issue) is done, there is a decision. They will not follow. On our part, we have a decision but we are at a loss on how to get back physically the West Philippine Sea. That's the problem.]
In 2013, the Philippines challenged China’s legal basis for its expansive claim before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, and won the case in a landmark award in 2016 after the tribunal invalidated Beijing’s assertions.
China rejected the ruling, saying its claims have historical basis and are “indisputable.” -- BAP, GMA News