President Rodrigo Duterte will not square off with retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio in a debate on the issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang announced on Friday.advertisement
Duterte made the decision after some of his Cabinet members advised him not to face Carpio supposedly because nothing good will come out of it, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an announcement aired on state-run PTV.
Duterte will be represented instead by Roque. The Philippine Bar Association has already offered to host the debate.
In a televised address on Wednesday night, Duterte claimed that Carpio was involved in the decision to withdraw Navy ships during a 2012 standoff with China at Scarborough Shoal. He vowed to resign if proven false and challenged Carpio to a debate.
Carpio denied the President’s claim, adding Duterte should resign immediately “to keep his word of honor.” —KBK, GMA News