Posts Tagged ‘Carpio’

Philippine Supreme Court Orders Government To Turn Over Documents of Drug War Killings

April 3, 2018

By:  – Reporter / @T2TupasINQ
 / 02:40 PM April 03, 2018
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Catholics light a candle beside mock chalk figure representing an extra judicial killing victim during a prayer rally condemning the government’s war on drugs in Manila. File photo AP / NOEL CELIS

The Supreme Court (SC) gave the Executive Department, through the Office of the Solicitor General, 15 days to submit details of the 3,806 killed under legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017 in connection with the government’s war on drugs.

During Tuesday’s en banc in Baguio City, the high court denied the motion for reconsideration submitted by Solicitor General Jose Calida to reconsider its Dec. 5, 2017 order on the submission of records related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

“The Court denied the Solicitor General’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s order dated 5 December 2017 and directed respondents to comply with the said order by submitting the required reports within a period of 15 days from notice,” the high court said.

In his motion for reconsideration, Calida told the high court that the order is “patently irrelevant.”

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Philippine National Police chief General Ronald Dela Rosa whispers to President Rodrigo Duterte during the announcement of the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines on Jan 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

He said the SC cannot declare a law or ordinance as unconstitutional based on the abuses committed by its implementor.

“The criterion by which the validity of the statute or ordinance is to be measured is the essential basis for the exercise of power, and not a mere incidental result arising from its exertion. This is logical,” Calida said.

“Just imagine the absurdity of situations when laws may be declared unconstitutional just because the officers implementing them have acted arbitrarily,” Calida said adding that if the basis would be the abuses committed by the police officers, then the Revised Penal Code should have been declared unconstitutional.

The order was issued by Senior Associate Justice, now acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio following an oral argument in connection with the two consolidated petitions filed by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) through lawyer Joel Butuyan on behalf of the residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid, Manila City and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) led by lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno.

The high court wants the Office of the Solicitor General to submit the following:

  • Names, addresses, gender of those killed
  • Place, date and time of drug ops
  • Names of PNP team leader and team members who participated in the operation and the pre-operation plan
  • Post operations report
  • Whether search warrants or warrants of arrests were issued
  • Names of representatives of media, NGOs and barangay officials present during the police operations

On those “death under investigation,” the high court asked the submission of the following:

  • Names, addresses, gender, ages of those killed
  • Date, time and place of the killing
  • Scene Of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team leader and members who investigated the killing
  • Investigation reports
  • Charges have been filed against the suspects if there are any

The high court also asked the government lawyers to submit the records of all buy-bust operations conducted in San Andres Bukid, the subject of one of the two petitions, the pre-operations plan and post-operations plan.

RELATED STORIES

Gov’t ordered to yield PNP’s voluminous records on drug deaths

SolGen moves to stop SC from acquiring details on drug deaths

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/979805/sc-orders-govt-submit-reports-on-drug-war-killings-sc-solgen-calida-war-on-drugs-illegal-drugs#ixzz5BalD5siF
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All this makes one wonder: does the Philippines know what it is doing with China? In the South China Sea?  Benham Rise? Is Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the ICC, and is Agnes Callamard  (Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at the UN) correct in saying the Philippines is guilty of gross illegalities under international law? Is the Philippine government being run by people who don’t understand the law? Is the move for a “Federal form of Government” based upon any good thinking?

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Philippines Struggles To Cope With China’s “Duplicitous Ways” in South China Sea, Benham Rise

March 7, 2018

GOTCHA – Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) – March 7, 2018 – 12:00am

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China has militarized the South China Sea — even though they have no legal claim. This is Mischief Reef, now an extensive Chinese military base — one of seven Chinese military bases near the Philippines

The issues of the West and East Philippine Seas are joined, as far as China is concerned. As polls show, Filipinos distrust China because of its duplicitous ways. In Benham Rise east of Luzon, China conducted natural resource and military explorations without Manila’s consent. It rejected Manila’s reasonable condition of including Filipino scientists in its researches. After sneakily giving Chinese names to five undersea peaks it now wants to name 50 or so other features. It claims to a right to conduct marine scientific research (MSR) under international law.

In the West Philippine Sea, China has done worse. It grabbed the traditional Filipino fishing ground Scarborough Shoal 123 miles off Zambales, within the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone but 700 miles from China’s nearest coast and beyond its own EEZ. It has concreted seven reefs and shoals in the Philippine EEZ into artificial island fortresses. It also claims reefs and rocks closer to the Philippines by imagining to be the first to name them.

Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio leads patriotic Filipinos in disputing Beijing’s illegal claims and activities. He helped in Manila’s victorious arbitration in The Hague against China’s maritime expansionism. He also debunked through ancient maps and documents Beijing’s farcical “historical rights” to the South China (West Philippine) Sea.

Here Carpio shares his thoughts on the joined east-west issues:

“(1) No Philippine law specifically regulates MSR in our extended continental shelf (beyond the 200-mile EEZ) like Benham Rise.

“(2) However, the Philippines having ratified UNCLOS, this international convention is part of the Philippine legal system. Under Article 246 of UNCLOS, the Philippines has an obligation to allow foreign states to conduct MSR in its continental shelf like Benham Rise ‘to increase scientific knowledge of the marine environment for the benefit of all mankind.’ Thus, the results of the MSR must be made known to the whole world.

“(3) MSR by foreign states in Benham Rise is purely for scientific research, and cannot be to explore the mineral resources for exploitation. Under UNCLOS, the Philippines has exclusive sovereign right to explore and exploit the mineral resources in its extended continental shelf like Benham Rise. Neither the President nor the Foreign Secretary can waive this exclusive sovereign right to a foreign state. To ensure that the foreign state conducting MSR in our extended continental shelf is not exploring for purposes of exploitation, Filipino marine scientists must be on board the foreign research vessels.

“(4) UNCLOS is a ‘package deal.’ A state that ratifies UNCLOS must accept its rights and obligations as one entire package. A ratifying state cannot cherry pick – accepting only certain provisions and rejecting others.

“(5) By refusing to accept the award of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal pursuant to the dispute settlement provisions of UNCLOS, China is not accepting its obligation under UNCLOS. China should not be allowed to enjoy its rights under UNCLOS, like conducting MSR in Benham Rise, while it refuses to accept its obligation under the arbitral award. Otherwise, China is cherry picking and not taking UNCLOS as one package deal.

“(6) Article 246 of UNCLOS states, ‘Coastal States shall, in normal circumstances, grant their consent for marine scientific research projects by other States.’ The refusal of China to comply with the arbitral award of the UNCLOS tribunal is not a ‘normal circumstance,’ and thus the Philippines should refuse China’s request for MSR in Benham Rise.

“(7) If a bully has squatted on your front yard, and requests to look at your backyard, would you grant the request of the bully? China has squatted on the West Philippine Sea and refuses to leave despite the ruling of the UNCLOS tribunal. Now, China requests to be allowed to survey the Philippine Sea on the east side of the Philippines. The Philippines would be dumb (bugok) to grant China’s request.”

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For 14 years Harry Roque headed the Center for International Law and taught at the University of the Philippines College of Law. That was before he became party-list congressman in 2016 and presidential spokesman in 2017. Here are some of his recent statements:

On China’s naming of undersea features in Benham Rise: “Don’t let’s magnify the issue … China gave so many names – siopao, siomai, ampao, pechay, hototay – but all those don’t mean it is laying claim.”

On President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposed “joint exploration” with China of West Philippine Sea resources: “It’s a practical solution for Filipinos to utilize natural resources without having to deal with the contentious conflicting claims to territories… The existing jurisprudence is we can enter into joint exploration and joint exploitation with foreign entities provided that it complies with the Constitution among others, it be pursuant to a written agreement signed by the President and submitted to Congress.”

On China’s “co-ownership” of those Philippine resources: “What the President meant was that’s exactly the kind of relationship we will have in a joint exploration and exploitation.”

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Ten years ago when the Joint Marine Seismic Understanding was exposed, Roque called it “treasonous.” Malacañang had ordered the Philippine National Oil Co. to sign with China National Overseas Oil Corp. the secret joint exploration of the Palawan continental shelf and Recto (Reed) Bank within the Philippine EEZ and way beyond China’s.

Roque said:

“Clearly, an agreement to jointly survey for the existence of petroleum resources in the Spratlys would be a derogation of the country’s sovereign rights (because) the exploration here would cease to be exclusive.

“A Filipino GOCC could not redefine what is provided for by law.

“My position is that anyone who will give away Philippine territory is guilty of treason. Since the national territory is governed by the Constitution and by law, a President (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) who will surrender the exercise of sovereign rights is guilty of treason, an impeachable offense.”

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Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ, (882-AM).

Gotcha archives on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jarius-Bondoc/1376602159218459, or The STAR website http://www.philstar.com/author/Jarius%20Bondoc/GOTCHA.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2018/03/07/1794213/repel-or-yield-carpio-vs-roque#ULfo3EEeUc292FJu.99

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Chinese bases near the Philippines
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We’ve heard 白痴國家 (Means “Idiot Nation”)

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China has long had its eye on James Shoal and may move toward the island unless Malaysia or Indonesia protest…

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China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration  in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China and the Philippine government then chose to ignore international law.

Philippines: Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno Under Fire; Colleagues say we want to preserve the integrity of SC

March 5, 2018

 

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio noted that the justices want to prove that the Supreme Court will not be affected by the impeding impeachment trial against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion
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Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) – March 5, 2018 – 10:40am

MANILA, Philippines — The justices asked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to go on an indefinite leave to “preserve” the integrity of the judiciary, acting chief magistrate Antonio Carpio said.

“There’s a discussion on how to best preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court, how to insulate the Supreme Court from the trial [and] from all of these political moves,” Carpio said in an interview on ANC’s “Headstart” Monday.

He noted that the justices want to prove that the Supreme Court would not be affected by the impending impeachment trial against Sereno.

“The public was saying it’s affecting our work already. So we wanted to show to the public that no, the Supreme Court is functioning normally. There will be no problem with the impeachment because the chief justice is going on leave,” Carpio said.

The acting chief justice, moreover, clarified that it was the consensus of all justices, including Sereno that she goes on leave.

“Some justices asked the chief justice to go on an indefinite leave so she can prepare her defense at the Senate. There were a debate, discussion and the result was the chief justice agreed on indefinite leave,” Carpio said.

READ: SC justices: We asked Sereno to take a leave

During the first flag ceremony while Sereno is on indefinite leave, supporters of the chief justice gathered in front of the Supreme Court.

Last week, it was revealed that Sereno would be on leave starting March 1.

Controversy followed Sereno’s leave when her spokesperson Jojo Lacanilao announced it as a “wellness leave.”

But the 13 justices refuted Lacanilao’s statement on Thursday, saying they “reached a consensus” that Sereno should take an indefinite leave.

There were speculations that the move of the magistrates last week was a prelude to ousting the embattled chief justice without impeachment.

On her second day of leave from office, an unfazed Sereno stressed that she would not step down from her post.

“Give me my day in the Senate impeachment court or admit that there is no probable cause,” she said in an event at the University of Baguio Friday.

READ: Unfazed Sereno faces public, challenges accusers

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/03/05/1793762/carpio-serenos-leave-we-want-preserve-integrity-sc#rZC4wp4LifHEL4VV.99

New photos show China is nearly done with its militarisation of South China Sea

February 5, 2018
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A close-up shot of the runway on Panganiban Reef (Mischief) shows it’s ready for use by the Chinese Air Force. Two other runways have also been built on Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross) and Zamora Reef (Subi) in the disputed sea.PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, INQUIRER.NET

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, INQUIRER.NET) – Aerial photographs obtained by the Inquirer from a source show that China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.

Most of the photos, taken between June and December 2017, were snapped from an altitude of 1,500 metres and they showed the reefs that had been transformed into artificial islands in the final stages of development as air and naval bases.

Shown the photographs, Mr Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., the former mayor of Kalayaan town on Pag-asa Island, the largest Philippine-occupied island in the Spratlys and internationally known as Thitu Island, recognised new facilities on the man-made isles.

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Mischief Reef radomes

Mr Bito-onon saw the construction going on when he flew over the islands with foreign journalists nearly two years ago.

“These photos are authentic. I flew with HBO before the elections in 2016. We got repeated warnings from the Chinese because we were circling over the islands. I see there are now additional vertical features,” Mr Bito-onon said.

With its construction unrestrained, China will soon have military bastions on the Kagitingan Reef, known internationally as the Fiery Cross Reef; Calderon (Cuarteron), Burgos (Gaven), Mabini (Johnson South), Panganiban (Mischief), Zamora (Subi) and McKennan (Hughes) reefs from which to project its power throughout the region.

WITHIN PHILIPPINES’ EEZ

One of the reefs, Panganiban, lies within the Philippines’ 370-kilometre exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea. The UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled that Panganiban Reef belongs to the Philippines.

In a report on China’s militarisation of the South China Sea last December, US think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Amti) said Kagitingan Reef had the most construction in 2017, with work spanning 110,000 square metres.

The runways for the three biggest reefs – Kagitingan, Panganiban and Zamora – appeared either completed or almost ready for use.

Lighthouses, radomes, communication facilities, hangars and multi-storey buildings had also been built on the artificial islands.

Amti, which described 2017 as a “constructive year for Chinese base building” in the South China Sea, noted the presence of underground tunnels, missile shelters, radars and high-frequency antennas on the artificial islands.

The photos obtained by the Inquirer showed the consistent presence of cargo vessels believed to be used in transporting construction supplies to the artificial islands.

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Chinese military bases near the Philippines

MILITARY SHIPS

Three military ships capable of transporting troops and weapons were docked at Panganiban Reef in a picture taken last Dec 30. These were two transport ships (Hull Nos. 830 and 831) and an amphibious transport dock (989).

The Luoyang (527), a Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class missile frigate, was spotted about a kilometre from Zamora Reef last Nov 15. This type of war vessel has two quadruple launchers installed amidships.

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Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class missile frigate

It also has a Type 79A dual-barrel 100mm gun installed on the bow deck, capable of firing 15-kilogram shells at a rate of 18 rounds per minute over a range of 22km.

Last June 16, the Luzhou (592), a Type 056 Jiangdao class missile frigate, was photographed at Panganiban Reef. China’s Defence Ministry reported the vessel took part in live-fire exercises in the South China Sea last December.

On the smaller reefs – Burgos, Calderon, McKennan and Mabini – the photos showed helipads, wind turbines, observation towers, radomes and communication towers had been built.

A photo taken last Nov 28 showed a single-barrel 100mm gun had been positioned on McKennan Reef.

STATUS QUO DEAL IGNORED

The extent of development on the reefs shows that China has gone ahead with building military outposts in the Spratlys despite a 2002 agreement with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) not to change any features in the sea.

At the same time, China has softened the impact of its military build-up with pledges of investments to the Philippines and talk of a framework for negotiating with Asean a code of conduct for the management of rival claims in the strategic waterway.

Besides the Philippines and China, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam also claim parts of the Spratly archipelago. Taiwan is a sixth claimant.

North Korea’s missile and atomic weapon tests also helped draw international attention away from China’s construction activities on the reefs, although recent pronouncements from Malacañang indicated the Philippines was not exactly unaware of the Chinese military buildup in the Spratlys.

ROQUE: NO LONGER NEWS

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a news briefing early last month that China’s militarisation in the South China Sea was no longer news but the Philippines would not protest as long as China kept its “good faith commitment” that it would not reclaim any more islands in the waterway.

“The fact that they are actually using it now as military bases, as far as I’m concerned, is not new. It’s not news because we’ve always been against militarisation of the area. But the good faith commitment is not to reclaim new islands. I hope that’s very clear,” Mr Roque said.

“The point is, has there been a breach of Chinese commitment not to reclaim any new islands or shoal in the area? For as long as there is none, then we continue to respect that they are true to their commitment not to do so. But I think, from the very beginning, China, we knew, was militarising the area by reclaiming these areas and by using them as military bases,” he added.

DON’T TRUST A THIEF

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a member of the legal team that argued the Philippine case against China’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea in the Hague arbitral court, slammed Mr Roque’s position, comparing it to trusting a thief.

“You don’t rely on the good faith of the thief (who’s trying to break) into your house. If you have that mindset, you rely on the good faith of someone who’s trying to break into your house, that means you’re out (of touch) with reality. You’re in a fantasy land. That’s not how the world is put together. That’s not realpolitik,” Mr Carpio said.

The Philippines is battling communist rebels, terrorists loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group, and Abu Sayyaf bandits, but the country is facing a much bigger security threat, Mr Carpio said.

“The biggest (security) problem is China. If we lose (our maritime space in the West Philippine Sea), we lose it forever,” Mr Carpio told the Inquirer in a recent interview, using the local name of the waters within the Philippines’ EEZ in the South China Sea.

“And the area we will lose is huge, as big as the land area of the Philippines, about 300,000 square kilometres,” Mr Carpio said.

China will never return the territory it grabs, he added. “We cannot go to the (International Court of Justice) because China has to agree and China will never agree to submit to arbitration.”

ARBITRAL RULING

China has ignored the Hague tribunal’s July 2016 ruling that invalidated Beijing’s sweeping claim to the South China Sea and declared it violated Manila’s sovereign right to fish and explore for resources in its own EEZ.

But President Duterte, who came to power two weeks before the ruling came down, has refused to assert the Philippine victory, wooing China instead for loans and investments.

China has been only too glad to be neighbourly to the Philippines but it has also been determined to finish its island fortresses in the South China Sea and present its rivals for territory in the waterway with a fait accompli when they sit down to negotiate the code of conduct.

Security analyst Jose Antonio Custodio questions Malacañang’s playing down China’s militarisation of the South China Sea in exchange for economic assistance.

“We are talking (about) trillions of dollars (in) natural resources and we are compromising our territorial claims. At the end of the day, these are not Chinese grants but loans so you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the disadvantageous position the Philippines is putting itself into,” Mr Custodio said.

Mr Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said the time when the Philippines should have protested China’s militarisation had long passed.

But the situation worsened when the country refused to bring up the arbitration ruling at the Asean Summit in Manila last year.

“That helped China in doing everything that needs to be completed. If ever the government one day realises that those military aircraft are based there, definitely it has no one to blame but itself, because it did not act when the time to act was right,” Mr Batongbacal said.

CLAIMANTS DISUNITED

Asean’s silence on the arbitral ruling in favour of the Philippines during the Manila summit was a diplomatic score for China.

“Unity among the claimants is one of China’s biggest fears,” Mr Batongbacal said.

“(The Chinese) see it as a huge threat when the surrounding countries are aligned. That’s what they don’t like the most because they think it’s containment. The fact that Asean didn’t come to unite about the disputes because we did not push through putting it on the table, all of that really favoured China. They had a big win and that’s a huge relief for them,” he added.

Mr Carpio said the Philippines could have generated support from the international community if it asserted its victory over China in the arbitration case.

“If we are not aggressive, if we are sitting on the ruling and we are not enforcing it, the others will not support us,” he said.

The military, for its part, cannot do anything but follow the government’s foreign policy.

“We still navigate in those waters. But we are instruments of national policy, so we just follow whatever our national leaders and policymakers decide,” said a ranking military official who requested anonymity.

“Were there challenges (from China)? Yes, but we also challenged them, that’s part of the rules of the road. But the policies of the government are not only military, there’s also political, economic and diplomatic. You can’t confine it to the military,” the official said.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

If the Philippines does not assert its legal victory, it stands to lose 80 per cent of its EEZ in the South China Sea, covering 381,000 square kilometres of maritime space, including the entire Recto Bank, or Reed Bank, and part of the Malampaya gas field off Palawan, as well as all of the fishery, oil and gas and mineral resources there, Mr Carpio said.

“My estimate is 40 percent of water in the Philippines is in the West Philippine Sea, so that’s 40 per cent of the fish that we can catch and we will lose that as a food source,” he said.

“Malampaya supplies 40 per cent of the energy requirement of Luzon. If Malampaya runs out of gas in 10 years or less… we will have 10 to 12 hours of daily brownouts in Luzon. It will devastate the economy,” he added.

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China has no greater rights than any other in the sea. China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration  in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China and the Philippine government then chose to ignore international law.

Philippines Denied French NGO Access to Benham Rise Even As It Approved Chinese Ship’s Reasearch — “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

January 20, 2018
“The reason why we did not approve it (is because) a sensitive part of Palawan (is what) they want to look into,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said. Philstar.com/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The government has rejected the request of a French-based non-profit organization to conduct marine scientific research in Philippine waters as the proposed expedition covered a “sensitive” area in the country’s territory, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday.

Cayetano made the statement as he continued to justify the government’s approval of the request of a Chinese entity to do research in waters off eastern Luzon, where Benham Rise (Philippine Rise) is located, and eastern Mindanao.

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Chinese marine research OK by the Philippines

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano has revealed the information that the DFA approved the request of the Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IO-CAS) for marine scientific research in Philippine waters.

Alejano said there was a similar request from a French-based non-profit organization, Tara Expeditions Foundation, to conduct research in the general area where the Chinese will be conducting marine scientific research.

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This French maritime research vessel was denied access to the Philippines….

The French request, Alejano claimed, was declined.

Contrary to Alejano’s claim, Cayetano revealed that the French ship applied for a different area that is “quite sensitive.”

“The French ship applied for a different area and secondly, they said their ship is too small to accommodate a Filipino (researcher), that’s why we said no,” Cayetano told reporters yesterday.

“The reason why we did not approve it (is because) a sensitive part of Palawan (is what) they want to look into,” he added.

“The Chinese ship said they would comply (with the requirements) that there will be a Filipino on board and they will share (findings) and it benefits us,” the secretary said.

“There’s no relation whatsoever between the exploration in Benham Rise and the South China Sea dispute,” the DFA chief stressed.

Cayetano also cited the benefits the Philippines could get from China’s marine scientific research.

“First is biodiversity, the marine research, second is preservation of the environment, so the more data we know what are the fishes there, the corals, what are the breeding grounds, we’ll know how to preserve the area, and less cost for research, third the mineral, oil and gas that can be harvested (in the area),” he said.

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In 2012, the United Nations declared that Benham Rise (now called Philippine Rise), an undersea plateau 135 miles off the coast of Aurora province, as part of the Philippines’ extended continental shelf where the country has the sole right to its resources.

The area is believed to be rich in minerals and gas.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/20/1779521/french-ngo-denied-research-access-benham

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Philippines: Japanese security expert backs Judge Carpio on Permanent Court of Arbitration, South China Sea, Benham Rise

January 19, 2018
By: – Reporter / @MRamosINQ
 / 10:05 AM January 19, 2018
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China research ship Ke Xue.  Maritime scientific exploration is usually done by a soverien nation with rights to the sea area subject to research. When an outside nation is brought in to research, an extensive legal agreemnent is usually required to protect the sovereign owner’s rights. What is the Philippine Agreement with China — or has some underhanded deal or bribes set up the current state of affairs?

TOKYO – Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio was right in insisting that the Philippines should deny China access to the Philippine Rise if Beijing continued to reject a United Nations-backed arbitral court ruling honoring Manila’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, a leading Japanese international security expert said.

At the same time, Professor Ken Jimbo of the Keio University’s Faculty of Policy Management backed Carpio’s argument that Beijing should respect the landmark July 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague whether China liked it or not.

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SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH A diver explores the seabed of Benham Rise believed to be rich in marine resources and underwater minerals. —INQUIRER PHOTO

The magistrate, who has made the Philippines’ ownership claims over portions of the South China Sea his personal advocacy, contradicted Malacañang’s position that China’s recognition or non-recognition of the PCA verdict was immaterial.

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President Duterte

“The Philippines has a clear legal judgment on what could be allowed and what could not be allowed (under the international law),” Jimbo told visiting foreign journalists here on Thursday.

“And that is not based purely on the Philippine interpretation of where is the red line, but there’s an internationally-recognized legal red line. That’s the strength of the PCA,” he also said.

Jimbo even added: “I do agree with (Carpio) in trying to manage the issue and I hope to see the consistency (that) every decision the Philippines will make… should be based on the PCA ruling. I wish to see the Philippines maintain the status of the PCA (decision).”

Early this week, Carpio labeled as “dumb” the Duterte administration’s decision to let a Chinese vessel conduct a supposed marine scientific research in the Philippine Rise, internationally known as Benham Rise, since China has maintained its intransigence not to recognize the arbitral ruling.

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The United Nations (UN) had already ruled that the rise, believed to be rich in oil and marine resources, was part of the Philippine continental shelf in 2012 and awarded the Philippines sovereign rights to explore and exploit resources on the submerged plateau.

In March last year, President Duterte admitted that he had authorized Chinese survey vessels to enter the Philippine Rise as part of an agreement.

But Carpio said the Philippines should not let China avail its rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) for its refusal to heed the international law in its entirety.

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“By refusing to accept the award of the… arbitral tribunal pursuant to the dispute settlement provisions of Unclos, China is not accepting its obligation under Unclos,” he said. “China is cherry-picking and not taking Unclos as one package deal.”

In response, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said Mr. Duterte’s decision to let Beijing explore the rise, a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau in the Philippine Sea just 250 kilometers east of Isabela province, was irrelevant with the issue over the West Philippine Sea.

“Science is science,” Roque said. “Science knows nationalities and the requirement is Philippine scientists must also participate in the scientific exercise and the results must be shared with Philippine authorities.”

Interestingly, Roque had previously been very vocal against Beijing’s intrusion into Philippine waters until he was designated by the Chief Executive as his official mouthpiece a few months ago.

Jimbo, who has done researches and studies on security policies in the Asia-Pacific region, noted that Japan had been supportive of the Philippines’ efforts to secure a legally-binding solution to the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, which also involved Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

When asked how to best counter China’s hardheadedness in complying with the arbitral court ruling, Jimbo said the international community should continue to rally behind the Philippines.

“I think it (PCA ruling) has been very much politicised in a way… The international community needs to congratulate what the Philippines has done so far,” he said. “It was a very rare case in international society that the PCA made a judgment on a very specific legal issue in the South China Sea.”

He said that although it may be a bitter pill to swallow, Mr. Duterte should rethink his policy of veering away from the United States militarily while increasing the Philippine engagement with China on economic matters.

“If you look at the wider perspective of the security architecture in the region, the US engagement not only in Northeast Asia, but also in (Southeast Asia), is still the platform in creating the basic kind of structure of deterrence and response capability,” Jimbo reiterated.

With China’s rapid rise as an economic superpower, its annual defense budget had eclipsed Japan’s military spending in the past several years, making Beijing a force to reckon with in the whole Asian region, according to Jimbo.

“Obviously, US has lot of fluctuation in engagement, but we cannot really replace the role of the US. We can engage in Philippine maritime security, but not in replacing the role of the US,” he said.

Moreover, the Japanese security expert said the Duterte administration may reconsider its decision to take on China and the South China Sea issue unilaterally.

“I think President Duterte and his team may come back to the logic that it’s not about what the US thinks, but it’s about the multinational platform (that must) co-exist with (his) China policy,” he said.

“The Philippine government has the comprehensive understanding on how to deal with them… I hope that those kind of ‘black-and-white’ type of engagement with China should be moderated. Otherwise, China will likely to penetrate into that logic,” he continued. /kga

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/163488/japanese-security-expert-backs-carpio-philippine-rise-issue#ixzz54fA9v5Ps
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See also:

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/163408/cayetano-defends-granting-china-research-access-benham-rise

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China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration  in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China and the Philippine government then chose to ignore international law.

China is again exploiting the Philippines

January 18, 2018

Opinion

By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star)

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MANILA, Philippines — China is again exploiting the goodwill of the Philippine government to conduct studies in Philippine seas to discover more areas rich in minerals and gas, a lawmaker warned yesterday.

In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate cautioned the public that with the Duterte administration’s friendly approach to the Chinese, Beijing is using the same modus operandi it employed during the Arroyo administration.

Zarate reminded the public about the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) of Beijing in 2005, wherein Philippine    official position in the disputed West Philippine Sea “jeopardized our claims in the Recto Reed Bank” near the waters off Palawan.

He warned that the JMSU during the Arroyo administration “is bound to happen again in the case of Benham Rise.”

Benham Rise is part of the Philippines’ continental shelf awarded by the United Nations in 2012, which provides Manila the exclusive sovereign rights over it. The area is believed to be rich in minerals and gas.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should rethink its decision to allow Chinese oceanographers to conduct studies in Philippine waters because it is one of the methods they used before under the JMSU that China entered with the Arroyo administration,” Zarate said.

Read more at http://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/15/1777874/chinese-research-benham-rise-slammed#xsQJHeZhvqdsG7lZ.99

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South China Sea and Beyond: Chinese research ship ‘Kexue’ to conduct research in Philippine waters

January 18, 2018

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China research ship Ke Xue

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By Ian Nicolas Cigaral (philstar.com) – January 18, 2018 – 2:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — China will deploy its most sophisticated research ship to study Philippine waters, including the potentially resource-rich Benham Rise (Philippine Rise).

Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo party-list) earlier slammed the Department of Foreign Affairs for allowing the Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IO-CAS) to conduct research in waters off Eastern Luzon, where Benham Rise is located, and off Eastern Mindanao.

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The Chinese marine exploration will take place on January 24 to February 25 this year.

READ: Alejano: DFA approved Chinese think tank request to study Philippine waters

In a press conference in Beijing last Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang confirmed that Chinese research vessel “Kexue” will survey Philippine eastern waters, adding that such a cooperation would further strengthen the two countries’ bilateral relations.

“China commends this decision made by the Philippine side on agreeing to China’s scientific activities and offering facilitation,” Lu said.

“We welcome Philippine scientific research institutions’ participation and would like to work with them to advance maritime practical cooperation in marine research and other fields so as to create a favorable environment for the sound, steady and sustainable development of bilateral ties,” he added.

The $87.5-million Kexue was handed over to IO-CAS in 2012, newspaper China Daily reported. In September 5 last year, Kexue reportedly finished a month-long scientific exploration of the western Pacific Ocean.

Weighing 4,711 tons, China Daily described Kexue as a “moving laboratory on the sea” capable of global voyages and all-day observations.

Kexue can also conduct water body detection, atmospheric exploration, deep-sea environment exploration and remote sensing information verification.

In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines’ undisputed claim to the Benham Rise.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed an Executive Order officially renaming Benham Rise to “Philippine Rise” to assert the country’s sovereignty there following reports that Chinese research vessels were spotted surveying the area in 2016.

The Philippine Navy now regularly patrols the continental shelf.

According to Alejano, the Chinese researchers will be joined by the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute “as a requirement.”

Alejano also revealed that a similar plea was lodged by French-based non-profit organization Tara Expeditions Foundation, but it was declined by the DFA.

The lawmaker said Tara Expeditions was a better choice if Manila was seeking additional resources and manpower to study eastern waters, noting that France, unlike China, has no territorial conflict with the Philippines.

For his part, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the law gives equal chance to foreign countries to study Philippine waters as long as there are Filipinos on board.

Foreign marine researchers must also share their findings and data with their Filipino counterparts, Cayetano added.

READ: Cayetano: ‘Same rules for all countries’ seeking to study Philippine waters

Read more at http://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/18/1779010/chinese-research-ship-kexue-conduct-research-philippine-waters#dqq5ep5YZFmOuGUS.99

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China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration  in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China and the Philippine government then chose to ignore international law.

Judge Carpio: Philippines dumb to grant China request to do research in Benham Rise

January 16, 2018

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/24oras/441574/palasyo-umapela-kay-carpio-na-respetuhin-ang-desisyon-ukol-sa-planong-survey-sa-phl-rise/evideo/

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday said it would be “dumb” if the Philippine government would allow the request of China to explore the resource-rich Philippine Rise.

“China has squatted on the West Philippine Sea and refuses to leave despite the ruling of the UNCLOS tribunal. Now, China requests to be allowed to survey the Philippine Sea on the east side of the Philippines. The Philippines would be dumb to grant China’s request,” Carpio said in a 24 Oras report by Raffy Tima.

Magdalo partylist Representative Gary Alejano last week said that he had recieved information that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had granted the request of a Chinese entity to do research in waters off eastern Luzon.

The Philippine Rise, formerly known as the Benham Rise, is located east of Luzon and is part of the Philippines’ continental shelf.

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In 2012, the United Nations gave the country exclusive sovereign rights over the rise, believed to be rich in minerals and gas.

Chinese vessels were spotted surveying the said area in 2017, prompting the Philippine government to send Beijing a note verbale, seeking clarification as regards the presence of its ships in the resource-rich area.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Carpio should respect the executive branch once a decision was already made.

“Sana respetuhin natin ‘yung separation of powers kapag meron ng kasong nakahain sa kanya,” Roque said.

DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had said “Philippine law says research can be done as along as there is a Filipino on board.”

“So there’s nothing suspicious about approval or disapproval of scientific research whether they’re Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Mongolians, Singaporeans. If they comply we will approve, if they do not comply we will not approve,” Cayetano said.

It is the DFA which usually grants applications to conduct research in the area, with coordination from technical agencies depending on the type of research. —Anna Felicia Bajo/NB, GMA News

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/639788/carpio-phl-dumb-to-grant-china-request-to-do-research-in-benham-rise/story/

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China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration  in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China and the Philippine government then chose to ignore international law.

Suspicious Chinese activity in Philippine Rise — Duterte administration’s apparently inexhaustible capacity to bend over backward to accommodate Beijing — What do Filipinos get?

January 16, 2018
 / 05:11 AM January 16, 2018
Editorial

Had Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano not raised the issue, the public would not have known that the Department of Foreign Affairs has allowed China — specifically, a research vessel operated by that country’s Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences — to conduct purportedly scientific marine research in Philippine Rise.

Formerly called Benham Rise, the area is a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau in the Philippine Sea, 250 kilometers east of the province of Isabela, that the United Nations officially recognized as part of the Philippine continental shelf in 2012, along with the sovereign rights to explore and exploit resources in it.

Philippine Rise is far from and well outside the waters in the South China Sea almost all of which are claimed by China through its so-called “nine-dash line,” a supposedly historical basis of ownership that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected as without basis in July 2016. That same ruling also declared that Beijing’s actions in the region had violated the Philippines’ sovereign right to fish and explore for resources within its own 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

The same sovereign right by the Philippines exists in Philippine Rise, an area that is incontrovertibly Philippine territory, with no scintilla of ownership dispute and recognized by international law as such.

So what is a Chinese vessel doing in those waters? And why did the DFA grant it permission to conduct research there, considering the testy relations the country has had with China over its island-grabbing in the South China Sea — including islands that have long been part of Philippine territory?

As Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio keenly pointed out: “If a bully has squatted on your front yard and requests to look at your backyard, would you grant the request of the bully?”

More strangely, why was all this kept under wraps by Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano — hidden from public discussion and scrutiny until Alejano’s revelations forced some sort of justification out of him?

Cayetano has defended the Chinese vessel’s incursion into Philippine Rise by saying the law allowed foreign research in Philippine territory so long as a Filipino scientist is aboard the research vessel and the findings of the study are shared internationally.

Carpio said no such local law exists, but Article 246 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) — of which both China and the Philippines are signatories — does call on “coastal states” like the Philippines to, “in normal circumstances, grant their consent for marine scientific research projects by other countries.”

Only the most blinkered observer would deny that Beijing’s militarization of the South China Sea and its disrespect for the arbitral court’s ruling have long nullified that condition of “normal circumstances.”

So any hint of interest on its part for—let alone active entry into—another part of the Philippine territory would naturally raise red flags in any reasonable Filipino’s mind. But apparently not in Cayetano’s, or Malacañang’s.

Given his office’s justification for this suspicious Chinese activity in Philippine Rise, Cayetano must be asked: Who, then, is the Filipino scientist aboard the Chinese vessel, whose presence in the ship supposedly was a reason for the permission given? What are the findings of the research vessel so far? Where have these findings been published, who benefits from them, and for what specific ends was the maritime research undertaken?

Unless Malacañang becomes forthcoming and transparent about the tradeoffs it is forging with China for promised loans and assistance, questions like these will continue to point at an inconvenient notion: this administration’s apparently inexhaustible capacity to bend over backward to accommodate Beijing.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/110296/benefits-research-ph-rise#ixzz54LgYMfke
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