Book proves Scarborough Shoal part of Philippine territory
Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2014 - 12:46pm

MANILA, Philippines - A book about the disputed Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, which strengthens the Philippines' long-standing claim over the area, was launched on Wednesday.

A collaboration between the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (UP IMLOS) and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), the book "Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal): Maps and Documents" is a compilation of documents that prove the Shoal has always been a part of the Philippine national territory.

"It's very timely because we're trying to convince the world especially the people in China that Bajo de Masinloc has been historically part of the Philippines since 1636 and there is not a single official map, ancient documents or ancient artficact showing China has ever set foot on Bajo de Masinloc," Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said during the book launch.

China claims that the Scarborough Shoal is a part of its territory based on the nine-dash lines in the South China Sea. The Shoal is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and is within the 200 nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Carpio earlier noted that China's argument in its territorial claim over the West Philippines Sea has no legal basis under international law.

READ: ‘No basis in China’s historical right over West Phl Sea’ | China bares first book on 9-dash line

UP IMLOS director Jay Batongbacal said that the United States recognizes that the Scarborough Shoal is part of the territory of the Philippines, as signed by the US and Spain in the Treaty of Washington.

The treaty read, "Spain relinquishes to the United States all title and claim of title, which she may have had at the time of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace of Paris, to any and all islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago."

Batongbacal added that the maps included in the book dates back to the 1660s which support the country's territorial claims.

"If our books were rockets launched at China, China would have been conquered," UP College of Law Dean Danilo Concepcion said.

The book is not just for lawyers and policy makers, but for the general public as well to show the documentary evidences of the country's exercise of jurisdiction and sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.

"Bajo de Masinloc has always been a part of Philippine territory and subject to exclusive jurisdiction," the UP Law Dean concluded.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTONIO CARPIO BAJO BOOK CHINA COLLEGE OF LAW DEAN DANILO CONCEPCION DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MASINLOC SCARBOROUGH SHOAL UNITED STATES WEST PHL SEA
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