Antonio Carpio West Philippine Sea lecture now available for Filipinos to watch online


Retired Supreme Court SeniorAssociate Justice Antonio Carpio has made the "Defending Sovereign Rights in the West Philippine Sea" lecture available for every Filipinos to watch online through Access Online. Access Online is the first and only accredited provider of Online and On Demand MCLE in the Philippines. This lecture is part of a 2-unit course eligible for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) under the subjects International Law and International Convention.

A personal advocacy

Carpio considers protecting and preserving the West Philippine Sea a personal advocacy. The territorial dispute to the claim of the South China Sea has been going on for years. In a speech he delivered in 2014 during the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the College of Law of the University of San Agustin, Carpio mentioned that "The Philippines is fighting a legal battle not only for itself but also for all mankind. A victory for the Philippines is a victory for all States, coastal and landlocked, that China has shut out of the global commons in the South China Sea."

In an interview conducted by Rappler, Carpio said, “It's the duty of every citizen to defend the country in the best way he can…. Because it was a legal approach, I felt that I had the competence to convince the government to do it. And that is why I did it – because everybody should defend the Philippine territory and maritime zones. There is no exception."

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Justice Antonio Carpio's Profile

Born in Davao City, Philippines, Justice Antonio T. Carpio was sworn in as member of the Supreme Court on October 26, 2001. He served in the Supreme Court for 18 years, retiring on October 25, 2019 upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 70. 

Justice Carpio obtained his law degree from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines where he graduated valedictorian and cum laude in 1975. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1970. 

Fresh out of law school, Justice Carpio went into private practice and founded the Carpio Villaraza and Cruz Law firm. He was a Professorial Lecturer of the U.P. College of Law from 1983 until 1992 when he was appointed Chief Presidential Legal Counsel with cabinet rank, Office of the President of the Philippines.

For his "distinguished and exemplary service" to the Republic, Justice Carpio was awarded in 1998 the Presidential Medal of Merit by then President Fidel Ramos. In 2009, he was conferred a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, by the Ateneo de Davao University. 

In 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs sponsored Justice Carpio on a world lecture tour on the West Philippine Sea dispute. Justice Carpio presented the Philippines’ perspective on the dispute before think-tanks and universities in 30 cities covering 17 countries.

In May 2017, Justice Carpio published the book titled The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea.

While in the Supreme Court, Justice Carpio served as Chair of the Second Division of the Supreme Court and Chair of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Justice Carpio retired with a zero backlog of cases.