Former Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for claiming that he never promised to reclaim the West Philippine Sea, and accused Duterte of committing “grand estafa” during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Carpio took a swipe at Duterte for “making a false promise to get 16 million votes.”

“President Duterte cannot now say that he never discussed or mentioned the West Philippine Sea issue when he was campaigning for President. Otherwise, he would be admitting that he was fooling the Filipino people big time,” Carpio said.

Dutere on Monday night said he never promised anything about the sea dispute with China during his campaign because it “was a very serious matter.”

“I never promised anything. Just because I’m the president, gusto niyo na makipag-away ako?” he said in his weekly broadcast.

Carpio recalled that Duterte’s campaign had issued a statement on the arbitration case against China, which the Philippines eventually won in July 2016.

“As a Filipino, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte Fully supports the case now pending in The Hague questioning China’s occupation of areas in the West Philippine Sea that the Philippines consider its territory,” Duterte’s camp said at that time.

Carpio also pointed out that Duterte had vowed to ride a jet ski to the Spratly Islands and plant the Philippine flag.

Duterte later claimed that his statement was mere “hyperbole” to assert his stance. Charlene Grace Lao