SC justice sees Philippine victory vs China on maritime claim
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Caprio has expressed confidence that the Philippines will prevail legally against China’s massive maritime claim in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.

However, Carpio admitted that the enforcement of the international court ruling would come slowly.

In a lecture at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan yesterday, he assured his civilian audience, headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, that China’s nine-dash-line claim in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea would not be honored by the international court.

“I am almost sure we are going to win our case,” Carpio said, one of those representing the Philippines before The Hague-based international court. The court is expected to release its verdict next month or early June.

He said the Philippines’ legal panel has clearly and thoroughly presented the country’s case before the UN court.

This includes the submission and presentation of pieces of evidence, China-own published books, ancient maps and historical finds to disprove China’s claim that South China Sea is an integral part of its maritime domain since ancient times.

China has been fabricating evidence to support its maritime and sovereignty claim in the disputed region, Carpio said.

One of these fabricated pieces of evidence is the installation of fake markers in the disputed region.

Carpio said that some of these Chinese markers recovered during a series of archaeological expeditions from 1974 to 1979 were found to have been ante-dated back in 1912.

Out of these archaeological finds, China published a book to bolster its historical stand that it was the Chinese who were the first occupants of the Spratly islands.

China had the book reprinted in 1997 only to discover that it failed to exclude confidential attachments as to how these fake markers found their way to the Spratlys.

He said some of these markers were dated 1912 and even years before, but these were only brought and planted in the disputed region in the 1970s.

Since the international court has no enforcement power, Carpio pointed out that it would take a lot more effort and time on the Philippine side to have China honor and comply with the court judgment.

China has declined to participate in the UN international court proceedings, maintaining that the UN court has no jurisdiction over the issue.

But Carpio cited Nicaragua’s case filed before the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration where it won its case against the United States government.

Initially, the US refused to honor the court’s verdict, but Nicaragua did not give up until eventually Washington succumbed to international pressure and honored the court ruling.

               

 

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