DISPUTED TERRITORY A Filipino fishing vessel ventures into the Panatag  (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.  —REM ZAMORA

A Filipino fishing vessel ventures into the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal within the West Philippine Sea. —REM ZAMORA

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio reminded President Rodrigo Duterte to keep away from any assertion or declaration that expressly or impliedly waives Philippine sovereignty to any Philippine territory within the West Philippine Sea.

“This will preserve for future generations of Filipinos their natural patrimony in the West Philippine Sea,” Carpio mentioned.

Carpio’s assertion got here after Duterte mentioned he can not cease China from implementing its plan to construct constructions on the disputed Panatag Shoal for now.

In 2012, China seized Panatag Shoal or the Scarborough Shoal after a tense standoff between Chinese and Filipino vessels. China denied Filipino fishermen entry to Scarborough’s wealthy fish inventory.

Filipinos have been ready to return to Scarborough after Duterte reached out to Beijing and restored good diplomatic ties, which had been broken when President Benigno Aquino III tried to forcefully implement Philippine authority on the shoal.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration dominated that Panatag Shoal is a “common fishing ground” of fishermen not solely from the Philippines but additionally from China and different neighboring international locations.

Duterte mentioned if the US was not in a position to cease China, what might the Philippines do?

Carpio mentioned Duterte was the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces which is tasked by the Constitution to defend the nation’s territory.

He identified that underneath Republic Act 9522 or the Philippines’ Baseline Law, Scarborough Shoal is a part of the Philippine territory.

Carpio mentioned for the reason that Philippines was no match to China militarily, the President might fulfill his constitutional obligation by doing any, some or the entire following:

  • File a robust formal protest towards the Chinese constructing exercise.

“This is the least that the President should do,” Carpio mentioned.

Carpio mentioned that’s what the Vietnamese did just lately when China despatched cruise excursions to the disputed Paracels.

  • Send the Philippine Navy to patrol Scarborough Shoal.

Carpio mentioned if the Chinese assault the Philippine navy vessels, the nation can invoke the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty which covers any armed assault on Philippine Navy vessels working within the South China Sea.

  • Ask the United States to declare that Scarborough Shoal is a part of Philippine territory for functions of the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty for the reason that shoal has been a part of  Philippine territory even throughout the American colonial interval.

The excessive court docket’s Senior Justice of the Peace and an skilled within the maritime dispute with China mentioned “the US has declared the Senkakus as part of Japanese territory for purposes of the US-Japan mutual defense treaty.”

  • Accept the standing US supply to carry joint naval patrols within the South China Sea, which incorporates Scarborough Shoal.

Carpio mentioned “this will demonstrate joint Philippine and US demonstration to prevent China from building on Scarborough Shoal.”

Aquino earlier tried to make use of the Navy to say the rights of the Philippines over Scarborough, however China responded by sending extra of its ships to the shoal.

China additionally started constructing synthetic islands within the West Philippine Sea, which is reportedly already being militarized by Beijing.

The US has performed patrols and freedom of navigation workout routines within the West Philippine Sea however has not stopped China from reportedly arming its synthetic islands. CBB/rga

Source: inquirer