Former Philippine top court judge to tackle West Philippine Sea in virtual forum

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Former Assoc. Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, Hon. Antonio Carpio, will discuss on Saturday (Oct 17) the issues behind the much-disputed West Philippine Sea with the Filipino communities in the Diaspora for the first time in a virtual discussion forum.

“To protect and preserve Philippine territorial and maritime sovereignty specifically in the West Philippine Sea” referring to an area of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines, is Justice Caprio’s personal advocacy.

In May 2017, he published an eBook titled “The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea”, which explains in layman’s language the South China Sea dispute from A to Z.

The special episode of RC Dialogues has been organised by OFW Watch Italy in partnership with Rights Corridor and will be streamed live on Rights Corridor Facebook page.

Background

In September 2012, the Philippine government announced it would start using the name “West Philippine Sea” to refer to waters west of the Philippines in government maps, other forms of communication and documents, after former President Benigno Aquino III issued an administrative order (Administrative Order No. 29) on September 5, 2012 to make the term official.

Under the Philippine law, the West Philippine Sea refers to portions of the South China Sea particularly the ones which the Philippine government claims to be part of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

President Aquino’s  order further asserts that the Philippines has sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea area and “inherent power and right to designate its maritime areas with appropriate nomenclature for purposes of the national mapping system”, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favour of the Philippines. The tribunal clarified that it would not “…rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and would not delimit any maritime boundary between the Parties”.

Although there is no exact demarcation for the area in the South China Sea which forms the West Philippine Sea, the tribunal ruled that China has “no historical rights” based on the “nine-dash line” map. (Various sources)

 

 

 

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