Debate with Carpio: Harry Roque has no credibility as Duterte’s stand-in | Inquirer Opinion

Debate with Carpio: Harry Roque has no credibility as Duterte’s stand-in

/ 04:02 AM May 10, 2021

So, President Duterte has chickened out (“Duterte backs out, taps Roque to face Carpio,” 5/8/21). No one was thrown for a loop by that cop-out. It was expected, for Mr. Duterte really doesn’t know anything about the intricacies of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issues. Against retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio who eats those issues for breakfast, Mr. Duterte would have become the laughingstock of the entire country, if not the whole world. The true extent of his interest in those issues is to be in a “love affair” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

His choice for a stand-in, Harry Roque, was equally dumb. In the first place, Roque has absolutely no credibility, being an inveterate liar. Take his really stupid spin on Mr. Duterte’s own words about throwing the WPS arbitral award into the wastebasket: The President was merely speaking about what China would do to that award! Secondly, as Roque himself put it, anything that comes out of Mr. Duterte’s mouth could be a breach of “executive privilege.” He is therefore the perfect shield against that possibility because no one takes anything he says seriously.


And thirdly, how dare Roque call Carpio just an “ordinary lawyer.” In comparison to the brilliance of the “best chief justice the Supreme Court never had,” Roque’s law practice would seem to be more in the category of ambulance-chasing. When Carpio hinted that Mr. Duterte might back out to save face and designate someone else to engage him in that intellectual exercise, Roque must surely have been farthest from his mind. Mr. Duterte was being “smart.” He was insulting Carpio’s intelligence by naming an expendable stooge.

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TAGS: Antonio Carpio, Harry Roque, Letters to the Editor, Maritime Dispute, Ramon Norman Torrefranca, West Philippine Sea
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