Posts Tagged ‘Carpio’

Time To Take Action To Defend The Philippines

June 13, 2017
OPINION
/ 12:22 AM June 13, 2017

I meant to write on Rizal and President Duterte, but taking part in the Defend Democracy Summit at the UP School of Economics on Monday brought me face to face with the human toll of the Duterte administration’s irresolution in defending the West Philippine Sea. We must make time to understand the Duterte era from a historical perspective; on Thursday, the Inquirer and the De La Salle University seek to do just that, with a historians’ forum on Philippine independence and the rise of China. But today—today I want to talk about Norma and Ping and the fishermen in Zambales they represent.

Let me belabor the obvious: The Defend Democracy Summit was called out of the sense that democracy in the Philippines today needs to be defended. The organizers defined four areas that needed defending: national sovereignty, human rights, democratic institutions, truth.

Assigned to the first workshop, I had the chance to listen to Prof. Jay Batongbacal, one of the world’s leading experts on the South China Sea disputes. (I added a few words on the Chinese view, from confusion in the 1930s about the location of the Spratlys to allegations in the English-language Chinese press of Philippine aggression in 2016.) In the discussion that followed, the diversity of the perspectives represented was striking: women, businessmen, students, environmentalists, political activists, fisherfolk. I was especially impressed by the intensity of the intervention of the likes of Norma and Ping, who represented fishermen from Zambales whose lives and livelihood are increasingly at risk.

 

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Not for lack of trying: The fishermen are organized, conduct roundtables in their communities, connect to local and national reporters. But since the start of the Duterte administration, they have found themselves at the mercy of the Chinese—and the authorities do not seem to be of any help. One of the representatives spoke of a recent incident where Chinese fishermen were arrested while poaching in internal waters, and a Chinese Embassy official appeared to tell police officers: “Philippine law does not apply to them (the poachers).” (I will try to get to the bottom of this incident.) He also vigorously rejected media reports that Filipino fishermen can now fish inside Scarborough Shoal.

A group of Zambales fishermen has been conducting meetings and workshops among themselves. In their last workshop, they came up with a list of five demands, in Filipino, that illustrates the immediate effect of the government’s failure to protect their way of life.

The five demands they addressed to the Duterte administration include:

Remove China’s illegal structures and stop certain practices that only favor China.

Allow fishermen to fish and to seek cover in Scarborough Shoal in times of typhoons and calamities.

Provide livelihood for fishermen’s families affected (by Chinese control of Scarborough Shoal since 2012).

Avoid classifying Scarborough as a marine sanctuary because in the end this will only become a fishing area for China.

Stop the illegal quarrying in Zambales used for the reclamation (of Chinese-occupied reefs) and the building of Chinese military structures, in the West Philippine Sea.

Another representative warned: “In five years, maybe in two years, Zambales will be out”—meaning out of fish stock, because of aggressive Chinese fishing.

Yesterday, June 12, was the 90th birthday of an extraordinary teacher who is, amazingly, still teaching. Onofre Pagsanghan, better known to generations of students at the Ateneo de Manila High School, and to thousands of students and parents who have heard his lectures in different schools across the country, as Mr. Pagsi, was—is—a spellbinding speaker. His gift is equal parts heart and craft; a lifetime of integrity and excellence becomes visible through his lectures, even his casual remarks.

What a privilege it was to study under him.

On Twitter: @jnery_newsstand

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104727/remove-chinas-illegal-structures#ixzz4js4z0UQu
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FILE photo provided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac —  A Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Winning against China

June 13, 2017

This is the final column based on Justice Antonio Carpio’s e-book The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea. I summarize here Justice Carpio’s interpretation of the decision of the arbitral tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration that upheld the Philippine positions on most issues. I also share Justice Carpio’s suggestions on how the Arbitral Award can be enforced.

On the Scarborough Shoal, the Tribunal ruled that the Shoal is a high-tide elevation entitled to a 12-nautical mile territorial sea but not to a 200-NM exclusive economic zone since obviously it is not capable of human habitation. The territorial sea of Scarborough Shoal, which includes the lagoon, is however a traditional fishing ground of Filipino, Chinese, and Vietnamese fishermen. In any case, China cannot prevent Filipino fishermen from fishing in the territorial sea of Scarborough Shoal.

China claims the Scarborough Shoal because the shoal was allegedly the observation point in the South China Sea where Guo Shoujing erected in 1279 CE an astronomical observatory. This claim is belied by the fact that China had already identified Xisha (the Paracels) as the observation point when China presented its argument against Vietnam in 1980. As clearly pointed out by Carpio: “The biggest rock on Scarborough Shoal is just 1.2 meters above water at high tide, and not more than six to 10 people can stand on it.  It is physically impossible to erect, or operate, the massive astronomical observatories of Guo Shoujing on the tiny rocks of Scarborough.”

As regard the environment, the arbitral tribunal ruled that China violated its obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to “protect and preserve the marine environment” when China: (a) Dredged and built islands on seven reefs;  (b)Failed to prevent its fishermen from harvesting endangered species like sea turtles, corals, and giant clams in the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal.

Other issues raised on which the arbitral tribunal has ruled are:

China violated the exclusive right of the Philippines to its EEZ when China: (a) Interfered with fishing activities of Filipino fishermen within Philippine EEZ, including imposing a fishing moratorium within Philippine EEZ; (b) Interfered with petroleum activities of Philippine-commissioned vessels within Philippine EEZ; (c) Failed to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing within Philippine EEZ; and (d) Constructed an artificial island and structures on an LTE (Mischief Reef) within Philippine EEZ.

China also violated its obligation not to aggravate the dispute during the arbitration when China: (a) Dredged the reefs, reclaimed and built the islands while the proceedings were ongoing, and; Destroyed the evidence of the natural condition of the geologic features at issue when China dredged and reclaimed them while the proceedings were ongoing.

Finally,  China violated its obligation to observe maritime safety when Chinese coast guard vessels crossed the path of Philippine vessels at high speed.

In conclusion, Justice Carpio suggests ways forward in the enforcement of the arbitral award, namely: (a) Enforcement of the award by the world’s naval powers with respect to freedom of navigation and overflight for military vessels and aircraft; and, (b)  Enforcement of the award by the Philippines with respect to its exclusive right to exploit the resources of its EEZ in the South China Sea.

On the first enforcement method, Justice Carpio observed that naval powers such as the United States, France and Great Britain can enforce the award by sailing and flying, and conducting military activities, in the high seas and EEZs of the South China Sea.

On the second method of enforcement, the Philippines can do several things, such as suing in a jurisdiction that ratified UNCLOS, move before the International Seabed Authority for the suspension of China’s exploration permits in the area, move before the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) for the suspension of China’s application for an ECS in the East China Sea, can negotiate its maritime boundaries with Malaysia (EEZ and ECS) and Vietnam (ECS), applying the Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling that no geologic feature in the Spratlys generates an EEZ and that the nine-dashed line has no legal effect on maritime entitlements, can delineate its ECS from Luzon and file its claim with the CLCS, there being no legal impediment from the nine-dashed line, and the Philippine navy and coast guard vessels and aircraft can continue to patrol  Philippine EEZ in the West Philippine Sea.

As a final word, Justice Carpio emphasized that the leaders of our nation must exercise utmost deliberation, consistency, and perseverance in seeking ways to enforce what the arbitral tribunal has finally awarded to the Philippines as its own EEZ in the West Philippine Sea.  Silence or inaction is no way to go as this can be interpreted as a state’s acceptance of a factual or legal situation.

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Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

It is fitting to end this series this week, when we celebrate Independence Day of the Philippines. There can be no real independence without securing our sovereignty.  President Duterte’s approach to foreign policy, while laudable for its independence, has been reckless on its defense of national territory. Thankfully, we have Justice Antonio Carpio to remind our leaders of what needs to be done, I reiterate what I said at the beginning of this series, Justice Tony is a hero, a defender of the country’s territory and of our Constitution. Let’s be thankful for that.

Facebook: Dean Tony La Vina Twitter: tonylavs

http://thestandard.com.ph/opinion/columns/eagle-eyes-by-tony-la-vina/239177/winning-against-china.html

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

China says it is vigilant as two U.S. bombers fly over South China Sea — Plus Who Lost the West Philippine Sea?

June 9, 2017

Reuters

China said on Friday it was monitoring U.S. military activities in the South China Sea, after two U.S. bombers conducted training flights over the disputed waters.

The U.S. Pacific Command said on its website that two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew a 10-hour training mission from Guam over the South China Sea on Thursday, in conjunction with the Navy’s USS Sterett guided-missile destroyer.

The exercise comes after a U.S. warship in late May carried out a “maneuvering drill” within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea.

The U.S. military conducts such “freedom of navigation” patrols to show China it is not entitled to territorial waters there, U.S. officials said at the time.

The latest exercise was part of Pacific Command’s “continuous bomber presence” program, but it did not give details on where it was conducted, and did not refer to it as a freedom-of-navigation operation.

“China always maintains vigilance and effective monitoring of the relevant country’s military activities in the South China Sea,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the United States.

“China’s military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and regional peace and stability,” it said.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, a stance contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The United States has criticized China’s construction of islands and build-up of military facilities there, concerned they could be used to restrict free movement and extend China’s strategic reach.

U.S. allies and partners in the region had grown anxious as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump had held off on carrying out South China Sea operations during its first few months in office.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Who lost the West Philippine Sea?

/ 12:09 AM June 06, 2017

This could be the question that will haunt us in our old age. Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio asked the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Monday to imagine that moment, years from now, when our children and grandchildren will sit us down and ask us: “Who lost the West Philippine Sea to China?”

It is our “civic duty,” Carpio said, to raise the alarm today about the imminent loss of our territory and our waters, to forge a national consensus on what needs to be done, and to defend the West Philippine Sea.

What is at stake in the dispute with China, and in Beijing’s continuing disregard of the July 12, 2016, arbitral tribunal ruling? In his “The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea” (the e-book is available online, free of charge), Carpio added up the costs: The Philippines stands to lose “about 80 percent” of its exclusive economic zone (“including the entire Reed Bank and part of the Malampaya gas field”) and “100 percent” of its extended continental shelf (about 150,000 square kilometers of maritime space). Altogether, China’s claim to most of the South China Sea “encroaches on over 531,000 sq km of Philippine EEZ and ECS, including all the fishery, oil, gas, and mineral resources found within this vast area, which is larger than the total land area of the Philippines …” Carpio does not mince words: “This Chinese aggression is the gravest external threat to the Philippines since World War II.”

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Bill Hayton, the BBC journalist who is a leading expert on the South China Sea disputes, recently tweeted a link to a new article in the “Journal of Modern Chinese History.”

“The Origins of the South China Sea issue” is by Li Guoqiang, who is identified in the journal as “vice director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.” Perhaps not coincidentally, CASS publishes the journal.

Hayton’s one-tweet review is brutal: “Li Guoqiang demonstrating the intellectual bankruptcy of official Chinese history of the South China Sea. ‘Nonsense on stilts’.”

He points to his “favorite” among Li’s “ridiculous statements”: “For example, in 1791, British Captain Henry Spratly ‘discovered’ Mischief Reef in the Nansha Islands and named it after his German crewman Mischief.”

Set aside the mention of Mischief (the claim that the reef was named after a “German” crew member named Heribert Mischief seems dubious) or of the use of “Henry” (in fact, Captain Spratly’s name was Richard). But the man who gave his name to the Spratly Islands was born in 1802.

This ridiculousness is repeated in a propaganda website like http://www.spratlys.org (“Spratly Islands—China’s precious pearls in the South Sea!”), where the “timeline” asserts that “Captain Spratle arrived in the group and named the islands by his name” in 1791—11 years before he was born!

This is the kind of thinking that supports the aggressive Chinese posturing in the South China Sea. Just imagine if, rather than merely acknowledging Chinese military might, President Duterte’s scathing tongue were directed at this and other fallacies. Mischief abroad!

 

On Twitter: @jnery_newsstand

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104569/lost-west-philippine-sea#ixzz4jVr93U3d
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

South China Sea: The Facts Against China

June 6, 2017

Philippine Daily Inquirer

EDITORIAL

12:10 AM June 07, 2017

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of the Supreme Court says he has a “civic duty” to sound the alarm: The Philippines may lose the West Philippine Sea, including 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone and 100 percent of its extended continental shelf, if it does nothing to stop China’s creeping expansionism in the region. He told the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Monday: It is “the civic duty of every Filipino to defend our territory, defend our maritime entitlements in accordance with international law and our Constitution.”

To meet this civic duty, he suggested a three-anchor policy, borrowed from the Vietnamese experience: be friendly with China, defend Philippine territory, cultivate alliances. All three anchors must be in place, otherwise the ship of state will continue to be at risk.

Public opinion largely supports the legal approach that the Philippines took in its dispute with China, the same approach which led to the sweeping arbitral tribunal victory of July 12, 2016. That same public remains largely mistrustful of China.

There is a vocal segment of the public, however, which is ready to accept friendlier relations with China, including billion-dollar loans, but consider defense of territory inconvenient and stronger alliances unpatriotic or insufficiently post-ideological.

As a group, they subscribe to several untruths; we should set them right with the following facts:

The main cause of the South China Sea disputes is China’s aggressive expansionism in the region. The conflicting claims, involving not only the Philippines and China, but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Taiwan, are not reducible to a geopolitical power play between China and the United States. The claims are rooted in Beijing’s irresponsible and unsupported assertion—first made only in 1947, refined in 1950, and officially announced to the United Nations only in 2009—that China enjoys “indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters, and enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters as well as the seabed and subsoil thereof.” This sweeping assertion violates both the letter and spirit of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which all disputants are signatories.

The notion that the Philippines is a mere plaything trapped in a contest of wills between two superpowers reassures those who wish to take no resolute action against China, but it is not based on reality. The United States is necessarily a factor in the disputes, in part because the biggest economy with the largest navy has a vested interest in freedom of navigation through the vital South China Sea, and in part because it has a Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. But to assert that the United States bears equal blame for the current disputes is to engage in the worst sort of false equivalence. Since the 1980s, China has been expanding its hold on the Paracels, on the Spratly, and now even on Scarborough Shoal.

The case that the Philippines filed with the arbitral tribunal is not the cause of the current tension—and it is appalling that some Filipinos actually think this is true. The Philippines was forced to file the case after the Chinese deception in 2012, when they took control of Scarborough Shoal. That year, a standoff between Philippine and Chinese fishing vessels at the shoal led to a diplomatic initiative; the United States brokered a deal agreed to by the foreign ministries of both the Philippines and China that called for a mutual withdrawal from the shoal. The Philippines complied; China did not.

The arbitral tribunal ruling is a true landmark—a sweeping victory for the Philippines (because it invalidates the 1947/1950 “nine-dash line” which undergirds China’s expansionist claims to almost all of the South China Sea) and for other claimants as well. Contrary to the thinking of the appeasement bloc in the Philippine political class, the ruling is an enforceable decision—not because China will suddenly cave in under the weight of the legal ruling, but because China, the world’s second largest economy, is a signatory to many other international covenants and itself believes in the power of arbitration.

Defeatism is not a policy.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104595/the-facts-against-china#ixzz4jFMum3MZ
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

South China Sea: Philippine President Duterte Uses Conflict Avoidance With China

June 6, 2017
By: – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 02:24 PM June 06, 2017

Image result for rodrigo duterte, photos

Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte was employing a conflict-free strategy in dealing with the country’s maritime dispute with China over the South China Sea, refuting criticisms that the Chief Executive had been weak in pushing for our claim.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella issued the statement after Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the government was not doing enough to press our claims in the disputed sea.

READ: Carpio: Duterte hasn’t done anything yet to defend PH territories

“The President has respect for Justice Carpio and he can assure the justice and the people of the Philippines that the policies of this administration are not only directed in protecting the sovereignty of the republic, they are also directed in ensuring that our nation and our region remains conflict-free,” Abella said in a Palace briefing.

“The President sees those two objectives as complimentary and in the best interest for our country,” he added.

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Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

The Palace official said the President and his Cabinet were “working with the governments of all nations with legitimate interest in the South China Sea to ensure that our national interests are protected and the region remains zone of peace.”

“Confrontation does not serve the interest of our country; that’s why we are committed to a process of engagement and negotiation that will ensure that our rights are respected and protected well into the future,” he said.

The Philippines’ current foreign policy with China, he said, has achieved substantive progress in talks in Beijing, reduced tensions, and strengthened our economic cooperation.

The Philippines and China had started a bilateral consultative mechanism in May to discuss the “sensitive” issue of the South China Sea.

During his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bejing in May, Duterte said Xi threatened war if the Philippines insisted on pressing its claims in the South China Sea. JE

READ: Duterte: China threatened war

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157704/duterte-using-conflict-free-policy-in-south-china-sea-maritime-dispute-palace#ixzz4jD6pdInz
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Philippines: Constant Bowing To China Risks Marginalization, Supreme Court Judge warns

June 5, 2017
By: – Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 12:09 AM June 06, 2017
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Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
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The Philippines could see its own “Finlandization” if it does not assert its sovereignty and stand up to China in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warned on Monday.

“Unless we do something, we will be like Finland, a nominally independent country. We will have our own political system but when it comes to foreign affairs, we follow the foreign policies of China. That is what Finlandization means,” Carpio said at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum.

“Finlandization” is the neutralization of a small and vulnerable country in foreign policy to avoid being taken over by a bigger and more powerful neighbor.

READ: IN THE KNOW: Finlandization

The term was coined during the Cold War when the Soviet Union rendered Finland, which shares a long border with the communist giant, neutral to enable the smaller country to remain sovereign even just in name.

“[Finland] has been occupied by Russia before. To remain sovereign and independent, it has to be neutral, it has to follow Russia’s foreign policies,” Carpio said.

Carpio said that with China claiming 80 percent of the South China Sea, it would share a 1,700-kilometer-long boundary with the Philippines, leaving only a “tiny sliver of water” in Manila’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) separating the two countries.

He raised the possibility that China would build up Panatag Shoal (internationally known as Scarborough Shoal) soon, which is why the Duterte administration must assert the Philippines’ victory in the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which last year invalidated China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea and declared Beijing had violated Manila’s right to fish and explore resources in waters within its 370-kilometer EEZ.

Carpio stressed the arbitral court’s ruling was not a paper victory for the Philippines.

“It’s about time to bring it up now because time is of the essence … The coast is clear. It can happen anytime,” he said, referring to the possibility of China transforming Panatag Shoal into an artificial island and topping it with military facilities.

Once this happens, the Philippines can no longer take back Panatag, Carpio stressed.

Panatag Shoal is a resource-rich fishing ground 230 km west of Zambales province, well within the Philippine EEZ.

China seized Panatag Shoal from the Philippines after a two-month maritime standoff in 2012, prompting Manila to take its territorial dispute with Beijing to the international arbitral court in The Hague.

Beijing refused to take part in the arbitration and rejected the ruling, handed down on July 12 last year, insisting it had “undisputed sovereignty” in the South China Sea.

Last piece of puzzle

Also known as Bajo de Masinloc, Panatag Shoal is the “last piece in the jigsaw puzzle for China to control the South China Sea,” where it has developed disputed reefs into artificial islands with air and naval defense systems, Carpio said.

President Duterte practically green-lighted China’s reclamation of Panatag Shoal when he recently said he could not do anything to stop China, Carpio said.

He added that the United States under President Donald Trump was unlikely to stop China, as it was looking at Beijing for help in reining in North Korea.

Carpio recalled that in March 2016, Chinese dredgers were monitored to be on their way to Panatag Shoal but then US President Barack Obama warned Chinese President Xi Jinping to back off.

Control of the South China Sea would give China not only economic control, but also greater military power in the region.

Security specialists in Asia have long expressed concern over China’s objective to form an expansive maritime defensive perimeter straddling Asian waters and stretching to the Pacific Ocean, using its island-chain defense strategy.

If China succeeds in completing its first island chain in the South China Sea, it will proceed to build a second island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The Philippines and Japan are in the way of the Chinese defense strategy.

Japan sits above the first and second island chains, while the Philippines lies between the two chains.

“The feeling of being hemmed in, sandwiched, would be our feeling if China goes to the second island chain. If you rise economically, you will also rise militarily in power and gain more strategic advantage over your neighbors,” Carpio said.

Anchors of national policy

He said any Philippine leader must follow the “three anchors of national policy” in resolving the South China Sea dispute.

A Philippine leader must be someone who can be friendly and trade with China, but remain steadfast in defending the country’s territory and maritime entitlements, Carpio said.

The leader must also nurture the Philippines’ military alliance with the United States, he added.

Carpio emphasized that the Philippines must continue its engagement with the United States because the Mutual Defense Treaty keeps China’s aggression in the South China Sea in check.

He said he would give Mr. Duterte an “A++” in his friendliness to China, but added that the President had yet to prove himself as a staunch defender of Philippine territories and maritime entitlements.

Carpio recently earned the ire of President Duterte for urging the government to enforce the Hague court’s ruling.

“If I am called names, that is OK with me because I want to discuss this on [its] merits,” he said.

He emphasized that it was “the civic duty of every Filipino to defend our territory, defend our maritime entitlements in accordance with international law and our Constitution.”

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Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157672/carpio-warns-ph-vs-bowing-china#ixzz4j9H3XFMJ
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said th

Philippine President Defends His South China Sea Alliance With China, Criticizes Judge Carpio, Former President Benigno Aquino and the U.S.

May 31, 2017
Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio addresses guests during the launching of his e-book titled “The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea” that questions China’s historic claim to most of the South China Sea Thursday, May 4, 2017 in the financial district of Makati city east of Manila, Philippines. Carpio said he will distribute it online to try to overcome China’s censorship and reach its people. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday criticized Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio over his remarks on the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea dispute.

“Si Carpio, daldal nang daldal [expletive] wala namang ginagawa noon, so gusto nito punta ako doon sa UN for the enforcement,” Duterte said in a speech during the 119th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy.

Carpio, one of those who defended the Philippines against China’s extensive claims on the South China Sea, had been urging the president to enforce the ruling of an international arbitral tribunal on the maritime dispute.

The senior associate justice gave lectures in the Philippines and abroad casting doubt on China’s vast historic claim over a large part of the South China Sea, which includes a portion that is within the Philippines’ exclusive ecnomic zone.

On July 12, 2016, the United Nations-backed tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines, invalidating China’s historic claims over the contested waters.

Duterte said that Carpio and President Benigno Aquino III should have acted upon receiving information that China has been building facilities in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Carpio, a justice, is not part of the executive branch.

“Ang problema nito, when it was being constructed seven years ago, the newspapers in the Philippines, Time magazine, were awash with pictures that there was something abrewing there… Nandyan yung ating navy bakit hindi sinabi ni Carpio pati ni Noynoy ‘Sige, puntahan ninyo, pigilan ninyo,'” the president said.

The president has previously also blamed the US for allegedly not acting to stop China from militarizing and conducting reclamation work in the disputed waters. The US is not a claimant state in the South China Sea but is concerned about freedom of navigation through the vital sea lane.

The president also stressed pushing for the arbitral ruling would lead to a war against China.

“Sabi ko sa kanila, I will dig oil there. Sabi niya (Chinese President Xi Jinping) ‘No, no, no, do not do that.’ No sabi ko, ‘It’s ours.’ Wala nang padaloy-daloy ‘yang arbitral, diretso,” Duterte said. “Sabi dialogue, peaceful resolution… When will it end? Hanggang kailan ako makikipag-usap?”

The Chinese president earlier warned that they would go to war when Duterte raised the ruling of the international tribunal during their meeting in Beijing a few weeks ago.

Following the threat from China, Carpio said that such warning is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter, UNCLOS and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The Xi Jinping may bring China’s threat of war to another UNCLOS arbitral tribunal as the 1987 Constitution renounces war as an instrument of national policy.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/31/1705408/duterte-hits-carpio-pushing-philippine-claim-south-china-sea

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 (The “Project of the Century” is, at heart, an imperial venture.)

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

Philippine minister starts damage control after Duterte’s China war remark — “Now we are on China’s ‘One Belt, One Road,’ and can’t get off?”

May 22, 2017

Reuters

 Newly installed Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (R) delivers a statement during a flag raising at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
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Talks last week between leaders of China and the Philippines were frank and friendly, with no threats or bullying, Manila’s foreign minister said on Monday, after his president said he was warned of war if he drills for oil in the South China Sea.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano would not disclose more details of the Beijing meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and China counterpart Xi Jinping, but said they had the kind of relationship in which they could openly discuss preventing maritime conflict.

The notoriously outspoken Duterte said during a televised speech on Friday that Xi warned him there would be war if he tried to explore for oil in a stretch of the sea that both countries claim. China has yet to respond to Duterte revealing contents of the meeting.

“The conversation was very frank. There was mutual respect, there was mutual trust,” Cayetano told reporters.

“The context was not threatening each other, that we will go to war. The context is how do we stabilize the region and how do we prevent conflict.”

The maverick Duterte has faced criticism at home for refusing to push China to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines.

It also said the Philippines had a sovereign right to access offshore oil and gas fields in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including the Reed Bank.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea, a vital conduit for trade and a hotbed of territorial squabbling that has stoked nationalist fervor in some countries.

“I will not contradict the president’s words. I am just telling you…my interpretation: there was no bullying or pushing around, it was not a threat,” Cayetano added.

“It was more the threat of conflict will always be there if we don’t have dialogue.”

A Philippine Supreme Court judge on Saturday urged the government to file another international arbitration case over the alleged Chinese threat, and also lodge a complaint with the United Nations.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said failure to do that would mean Duterte would be “selling us out” and forfeiting sovereignty to secure Chinese loans and investments needed for his ambitious $180 billion infrastructure program.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Monday said the Philippines was “very clear that we are not giving up our claim of sovereignty and sovereign rights.”

(Reporting by Martin Petty and Karen Lema; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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China is preparing for the reclamation and construction on Scarborough Shoal

FILE — In this Dec. 24, 2015, photo, provided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac, a Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

No automatic alt text available.

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

Philippine Senators Demand Protesting China At The United Nations Over South China Sea War Threat

May 21, 2017

By : @inquirerdotnet

/ 12:11 AM May 22, 2017

Sen. Francis Pangilinan

Sen. Francis Pangilinan

Several senators on Sunday urged the government to take action against China such as filing a diplomatic protest over its threat of war against the Philippines if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil at a reef within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea.

 Image may contain: 1 person

Sen. Francis Pangilinan urged Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to file the diplomatic protest against China two days after President Duterte disclosed the threat.

“Did China really threaten the Philippines with war after President Duterte asserted the Southeast Asian nation’s sovereignty over disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea? If so, then Foreign Secretary Cayetano should issue a diplomatic protest for this threat,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

Arbitral ruling

In remarks that could infuriate China, Mr. Duterte hit back on Friday at domestic critics who said he had gone soft on Beijing by refusing to pressure it to comply with an award last year by the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines in a challenge brought by Manila against Beijing’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea.

Mr. Duterte said he discussed the ruling with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm but friendly warning.

“We intend to drill oil there. If it’s yours, well, that’s your view. But my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

“His response to me, ‘We’re friends, we don’t want to quarrel with you. We want to maintain the presence of warm relationships, but if you force the issue, we’ll go to war,’” Mr. Duterte said.

The President had long expressed his admiration for Xi and said he would raise the arbitration ruling with him eventually, but needed first to strengthen relations between the two countries, which the Philippines was hoping would yield to billions of dollars in Chinese loans and infrastructure investments.

The Hague award clarifies Philippine sovereignty rights in the West Philippine Sea—waters within its 370-kilometer EEZ in the South China Sea—to access offshore oil and gas fields, including Recto Bank (internationally known as Reed Bank), 153 km off its coast.

It also invalidated China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea.

China has built islands by reclamation of sand and coral and has militarized them for People’s Liberationa Army (PLA) use. Seen here, Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys group of islands are shown from the Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force during the visit to the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. President Duterte on Friday, May 19, 2017, described this as “some kind of armed garrison.” It looks like a fortress that coul take on the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Credit Francis Malasig/Pool Photo via AP

Senate inquiry

Pangilinan sought an inquiry into China’s threat by the Senate committees on foreign relations and economic affairs and into the foreign policy direction of the Duterte administration, which he said Sen. Bam Aquino had been calling for since October.

“The hearing should tackle not only this issue, but also details of the $24-billion loans and investments recently sealed with China, as well as the administration’s decision to reject aid from the European Union,” he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson agreed with the call of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Saturday to take China’s threat to the United Nations.

“There is an arbitral ruling favoring us and which cannot be changed anymore. While it may not be enforceable now, there is no denying the fact that UN member nations must respect the decision. If we go back in time and review previous rulings, concerned countries had initially resisted compliance but eventually, they gave up and complied,” Lacson said in a text message.

“Following that argument, it may only be a question of time before China will realize that her position in the [WestPhilippine Sea] is untenable. We therefore need to marshal the support of the community of nations to put pressure on China, and hope that compliance is accelerated in our favor,” he said.

Take it to UN

Carpio, part of the legal team that argued the Philippines’ case against China in the Hague court, suggested that the Philippines bring China’s threat of war to the United Nations General Assembly by sponsoring a resolution condemning the threat and demanding that China comply with the tribunal’s ruling.

China has no veto in the UN general assembly, Carpio said.

Manila could also claim damages from China for the period of delay that the Philippines is prevented from exploiting resources within its EEZ, Carpio said.

Also agreeing with Carpio, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said the government should go to the United Nations, as this is one of the diplomatic and legal options available to the Philippines.

In a phone interview, however, Trillanes said he did not believe the Chinese president had threatened the Philippines with war.

Blatant lies

“Duterte has been known to make blatant lies to justify his action. In this case, he justifies his cowardice by surrendering our territorial or sovereign rights on the area,” Trillanes said.

Sen. Richard Gordon said that if indeed Xi threatened war, Mr. Duterte should have told him that he was violating “all international laws.”

“We should use the UN here,” Gordon said in a radio interview.

But he also doubted that Xi had made such a threat, pointing out that Mr. Duterte has a habit of saying something and then taking it back later.

He said he doubted that Mr. Duterte gave an accurate account of his conversation with Xi.

“If he really said that, we go to the UN, we go to the international community … make that manifestation and it’s China against the world,” Gordon said.

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157075/file-protest-vs-china-un-senators-urge#ixzz4hjzlBi3w
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China is preparing for the reclamation and construction on Scarborough Shoal

FILE — In this Dec. 24, 2015, photo, provided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac, a Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

No automatic alt text available.

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

South China Sea: China’s threat of war against the Philippines is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter — The Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ

May 21, 2017
“The threat of China to go to war against the Philippines if the Philippines extracts oil and gas in the Reed Bank, or in any area within the Philippine EEZ (exclusive economic zone) in the West Philippine Sea, is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter, UNCLOS and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philippines are parties,” Carpio said. AP/Bullit Marquez/ File
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MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has advised the Duterte government to elevate to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Chinese President Xi Jinping’s threat of war against the Philippines should the latter insist on drilling for oil in the disputed South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea.

“The threat of China to go to war against the Philippines if the Philippines extracts oil and gas in the Reed Bank, or in any area within the Philippine EEZ (exclusive economic zone) in the West Philippine Sea, is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter, UNCLOS and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philippines are parties,” Carpio said.

Since the Philippine Constitution renounces war as an instrument of national policy, one of the Duterte administration’s options is to bring China’s threat of war to another UNCLOS arbitral tribunal.

It could also secure an order directing China to comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal that declared Recto (Reed) Bank part of Philippine EEZ.

Recto Bank is vital to Philippine national interest, as it is the only replacement for Malampaya, which supplies 40 percent of the energy requirement of Luzon.

The Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ.

Another option, according to Carpio, is to report China’s threat of war before the UN General Assembly by sponsoring a resolution condemning China’s threat of war against the Philippines and demanding that China comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the 33rd National Convention of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in Davao City, the Philippines, on Friday.  Photo: AFP

China, Carpio pointed out, has no veto in the General Assembly.

Carpio also said that the UN Charter outlaws the use or threat of force to settle disputes against states.

Since a threat has been issued, Carpio called on the Filipino people to stand united and defend the West Philippine Sea in accordance with the Constitution, international law and the UNCLOS.

“China’s threat of war against the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea reveals the aggressive design of China against the Philippines. No less than Chinese President Xi Jingping has delivered the threat personally to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte,” Carpio said.

“An arbitral tribunal…has already ruled with finality that the Reed Bank is within the EEZ of the Philippines and only the Philippines can exploit the natural resources within Philippine EEZ,” Carpio said, as he reminded the Philippine government to protect the nation’s maritime wealth in its EEZ, as mandated by the Constitution.

Since the Philippines cannot resort to war, the President has the constitutional duty to use all legal means under international law to protect the country’s EEZ.

“(T)he President cannot simply do nothing, or worse, acquiesce to China’s action, for inaction is the opposite of protecting Philippine EEZ,” Carpio, an expert on the issue, said.

Under international law, acquiescence is the inaction of a state in the face of threat to its rights under circumstances calling for objection to the threat to its rights; thus, the Philippines will lose forever its EEZ in the West Philippine Sea to China.

Carpio suggested that the country strengthen its ties with its defense alliances, particularly with the United States, since it is the only country with which the Philippines has a Mutual Defense Treaty.

“The Philippines can ally with the United States because the United States does not claim the West Philippine Sea or any Philippine territory,” he said.

‘Chinese propagandist’

For Magdalo party-list group Rep. Gary Alejano, Duterte acts like a Chinese propagandist on the territorial dispute.

Alejano, author of the dismissed impeachment complaint against Duterte, yesterday said he does not believe that the President directly raised the issue on the dispute with Xi.

“We did not hear that from his Chinese counterpart,” he said, referring to Duterte’s statements made in Davao City, where the President revealed Xi’s war threat.

Alejano said Duterte raises hell whenever the US and the European Union reminds him about human rights and adherence to the rule of law.

“But he is a meek lamb in front of Chinese officials,” Alejano said, adding that Duterte’s statements “are a justification of his subservience to China.”

“He is selling us out,” he said.

Envoys divided

Former Philippine ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Wilfredo Villacorta, however, said Duterte properly handled the crafting of the chairman’s statement during the leaders’ summit of the ASEAN member-states in Manila last month.

“There was no need to mention the arbitral ruling in the sections on the South China Sea. The ruling is now part of international law and we can always invoke it as part of international law jurisprudence,” Villacorta told The STAR.

“The specific provisions on the South China Sea in the latter part of the chairman’s statement recognized the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and over-flight in and above the South China Sea,” he added.

But for former Philippine ambassador to the UN Lauro Baja Jr., Duterte could have handled the summit leaders’ meeting more aggressively.

“He is chairman and in our past experiences, it is the chairman (who) sets the tone,” he told reporters during the launch of a book on ASEAN at the University of the Philippines on Friday.

“It’s not the chairman’s statement, it’s the Chinese statement,” he added.

Baja also expressed doubts that the code of conduct that is being crafted to address the territorial dispute in the South China Sea could resolve the decades-long conflict in the region.

“If the code of conduct will not have a so-called enforcement provision and will not have a dispute mechanism, it will again be in the nature of political declaration,” he said.

Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario said China’s threat of war is Beijing’s strong statement that it does not honor the arbitral ruling.

“The utterance…clearly demonstrates to the world China’s position regarding the arbitral tribunal outcome that is consistent with UNCLOS,” Del Rosario said.

“Contrary to our position that right is might, China has strongly declared that it is might that will triumph what is right,” Del Rosario said. “China – unless it stands to benefit – does not intend to respect the rule of law,” he added.  –  With Jess Diaz, Janvic Mateo, Pia Lee-Brago

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/21/1701973/philippines-can-bring-china-war-threat-un

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