MANILA, Philippines – Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, in a virtual forum, suggested that the state should start considering Malaysia and Vietnam as allies in the South China Sea.
This suggestion of Carpio came after the “grave escalation” of the military movement that China led in the said territory.
The said tag came after the Chinese military pointed its gun control director towards a Philippine navy vessel. The said state troop was within the perimeters of the Malampaya are in the West Philippine Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs acted upon the alarming situation and filed a diplomatic protest against the Chinese government.
The said incident happened in February when the People’s Liberation Army corvette pointed its gun controller at the Filipino vessel. The said vessel is the BRP Conrado Yap.
In the forum that the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines organized, Carpio shared the major issues of the dilemma. He mentioned that the said Malampaya area is in conflict with Beijing’s “nine-dash line” claim in the South China Sea. He reiterated that the territory remains a part of the West Philippine Sea.
Making a unified voice
With the intensity of the situation at hand, Carpio mentioned that there should be joint patrols with neighboring countries.
“I think we should have joint patrols with Vietnam and Malaysia. We patrol their (exclusive economic zone)” Carpio stated.
The said action of a joint navy force will send a clear message to action. “We’ll be sending a message… China cannot just pick us out one by one. We are united.” said Carpio.
Prior to this, there are already joint naval partnerships that the Philippines had inked with Indonesia and Malaysia. The agreement is focused on safeguarding maritime territory for kidnapping, piracy and terrorism.
Carpio stated that even though this act is far from an act of war, it should still be taken very seriously. “We don’t do that because you can mistake and you can trigger an accidental war…” he added. He clarified that “…navies do not do that unless you want to bully another country.”