West Philippine Sea: There is a light at the end of the tunnel, says former Justice Antonio Carpio


By Rights Corridor Staff

Former Assoc. Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, Hon. Antonio Carpio on Saturday has enlightened members of the Filipino community in Italy on the issues surrounding the much-disputed West Philippine Sea, in a virtual dialogue.

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).

During his presentation, Justice Carpio, who made the protection and preservation of Philippine territorial and maritime sovereignty on the western side of the South China Sea a personal advocacy, encouraged the Filipino Diaspora to stand firm and not give up its sovereign rights over the disputed territory.

“I think we are in the cusp now of finding a solution…For President Duterte, his greatest legacy would be to implement the Arbitral award that we won…Hopefully we are there already so there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must stand firm. We must not give up our sovereign rights,” said Justice Carpio.

The former top court judge was referring to the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favour of the Philippines on July 12, 2016 in which 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.

The special episode of RC Dialogues, organised by OFW Watch Italy in partnership with Rights Corridor, was hosted by Rights Corridor managing director Froilan Malit, Jr. and streamed live on Rights Corridor Facebook page. Watch webinar