SolGen asks SC to inhibit Carpio in West PH Sea case


Posted at Jun 28 2019 06:09 PM

MANILA - The Office of the Solicitor General on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to inhibit Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio from participating in the writ of kalikasan petition on the disputed West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the OSG said Carpio should inhibit due to his "personal bias and manifest partiality."

"As evidenced by his active participation in the South China Sea (SCS) Arbitral Proceedings and his continuing public pronouncements against the actions taken by the government in relation to the SCS Arbitral Award," it said.

The OSG cited the New Code of Judicial Conduct, which "demands the disqualification of a judge who is unable to decide a case impartially or who appears to a reasonable observer that he is unable to decide impartially."

“It is interesting that even before the OSG filed its motion for inhibition, Justice Carpio already told the media that he will not inhibit in this case. This puts the OSG in a bind," it said.

"Our motion will be an exercise in futility if the issue of his inhibition will be solely left for him to decide. It should be the Supreme Court, as a collegial body, which should decide on our motion."

Carpio on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte's remark that China could fish in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines is a violation of the Constitution.

The President then lashed out at the magistrate and called him "stupid."

China has expansive claims to the South China Sea, encroaching into the Philippine's EEZ in the waters. 

In May, the high court issued a writ of kalikasan in response to a petition seeking protection of the marine environment in the West Philippine Sea.