Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday said the Philippines cannot just "fold up" in the face of Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea.
"A country cannot just fold up and give up just because the other side is stubborn. That is a childish mentality," said Carpio as reported by Unang Balita on Wednesday, responding to President Rodrigo Duterte's latest statement on the issue.
"Getting a UN (United Nations) resolution in your country's favor is already a huge victory because that means the world community is behind your country," Carpio added.
Carpio was at the forefront of the Philippines' case against China's claims in the West Philippine Sea -- 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 (EEZ) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
GMA News Online has already reached out to Malacañang for its comment.
During his public address on Monday night, Duterte blasted Carpio for questioning his supposed silence on China's activities in the Philippine EEZ. The retired justice previously urged Duterte to speak up on Chinese incursions in the disputed waters.
Duterte also blamed officials of the Aquino administration for China's constructive occupation of the West Philippine Sea, saying it happened during their time.
In response, former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who served under Benigno Aquino III, urged Duterte to "follow the recent initiative" of his officials in speaking out against China.
"We respectfully submit that the President follow the recent initiative of the WPS National Task Force, DND Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana, DFA Secretary [Teodoro] Locsin and some of our patriotic soldiers in asserting our contry's rights in the West Philippine Sea," he said in the same Unang Balita report.
Like Carpio, Del Rosario also played a big role in the Philippine victory against China in the case it filed before the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
China has refused to honor the ruling as it did not acknowledge the Philippine case.
While Malacañang said Duterte was standing by the arbitral award, the President on Monday expressed doubts that Beijing will "obey" the United Nations.
"If the United Nations will ask China to surrender because of that award given to us, ibibigay ba ng China yan?" Duterte said.
"Can the United Nations compel China and do you think China will give it freely because of the United Nations' demand?" he added. --KBK, GMA News