Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has slammed the conferring of awards to outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua.
“Our national heroes who died defending our territory against foreign invaders, must now be turning in their graves,” Carpio told lawyers who graduated University of the Philippines College of Law during a homecoming event at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City on November 7.
Zhao was conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu by President Rodrigo Duterte for “his vital role in a growing and more robust bilateral relationship between Philippines and China.”
The House of Representatives conferred Zhao with Congressional Medal of Achievement for fostering “stronger bonds of very good friendship between the Philippines and China.”
Carpio cited Zhao’s November 2018 article, where the Chinese envoy said “being separated by only a narrow strip of water, China and the Philippines have been close neighbors for centuries, sharing not only geographic proximity, but also blood bonds, cultural affinity and a long and sincere traditional friendship.”
“Ambassador Zhao was saying to the entire Filipino people, the Philippines and China are already close neighbors because the nine-dash line is China’s national boundary in the South China Sea, leaving the Philippines with only a sliver of water as its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone,” Carpio explained.
“For this, Ambassador Zhao was conferred a congressional medal of achievement by our House of Representatives. Of course, our House of Representatives will just follow President Rodrigo Duterte who earlier conferred on Ambassador Zhao the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of datu,” he added.