Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to file a “strong” formal protest against the Chinese building activity and send the Philippine Navy to patrol Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
“File a strong formal protest against the Chinese building activity. This is the least that the President should do. This is what the Vietnamese did recently when China sent cruise tours to the disputed Paracels,” Carpio said.
“Send the Philippine Navy to patrol Scarborough Shoal. If the Chinese attack Philippine Navy vessels, then invoke the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty which covers any armed attack on Philippine navy vessels operating in the South China Sea,” he added.
He also urged the President to accept the US’ “standing offer” to hold joint naval patrols in the South China Sea, which includes Scarborough Shoal.
“This will demonstrate joint Philippine and US determination to prevent China from building on Scarborough Shoal,” Carpio said.
Earlier, a top official of China’s so-called Sansha City, which administers South China Sea territories it controls, said Beijing would start preparatory work for environmental monitoring stations on a number of islands, including Scarborough, this year.