Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario announced yesterday that Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio agreed to act as counsel in the case he and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed against Xi and other Chinese officials for crimes against humanity in connection with China’s illegal incursions and environmental damage in the South China Sea./ Edd Gumban / Pia Lee-Brago
MANILA, Philippines — Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio will stand as legal counsel in the case filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) by former Philippine officials against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials over China’s incursions in the South China Sea.
Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario announced yesterday that Carpio agreed to act as counsel in the case he and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed against Xi and other Chinese officials for crimes against humanity in connection with China’s illegal incursions and environmental damage in the South China Sea.
“We are submitting our response this week to the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor, and I am happy to announce that Justice Tony Carpio has agreed to join our quest for justice, as our counsel in this ICC case,” Del Rosario said during a Stratbase ADR forum.
“Justice Carpio is a legal luminary with unparalleled wisdom and expertise in the South China Sea issue, and he will surely bolster our efforts in the ICC,” he said.
Carpio played a key role in the Philippines’ historic victory against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration and is recognized for his role as steadfast defender of the Philippines’ maritime rights and entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Carpio’s anti-China stance clashed with the foreign policy of President Duterte, who admitted in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 27 that he was “inutile” and “cannot do anything” against China’s pursuit of territory and resources in the South China Sea despite the Arbitral Tribunal’s 2016 ruling that invalidated its “historic rights.”
Del Rosario and Morales filed on March 13, 2019 a complaint with the Office of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda against Xi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and former Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua for crimes against humanity by intentionally depriving Filipinos and other coastal inhabitants in the South China Sea of their food, resources and livelihood.
He said they will submit a more extensive discussion that the crimes occurred not only in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines, but also within its territorial sea and the coast of Luzon.
“The ICC has strong basis to proceed with our case,” Del Rosario said.
He said they also included senior executives of China Communications Construction Co. following confirmation that CCCC and its subsidiaries undertook the massive and destructive illegal reclamation and artificial island-building in the South China Sea, which has caused devastating and long-lasting damage to the marine environment and the livelihoods of countless fishermen.
“The end purpose of our ICC case is to hold Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials criminally liable and be penalized by imprisonment pursuant to the ICC Statute,” Del Rosario said.